5 Tips to Prepare for Your Disney Cruise

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Disney Cruise

Getting ready for your Disney Cruise vacation is such an exciting time. Here are a few tips to help you prepare to set sail for your amazing Disney Cruise.

  1. Create a Packing List- Create a packing list based on the recommendations Disney provides in the planning center. Check off the items on your list as you pack your suitcase to make sure you bring everything you need. Don’t forget to pack a pirate costume for Pirate Night.
  2. Pack a Carry-On- It could be several hours before you get your bags on embarkation day. If you want to enjoy the pool, make sure you put a swimsuit and some sunscreen in your carry-on bags. You should also make sure you have all of the documents you need to board in your carry on. Guests can bring alcohol onboard. Alcohol must be packed in your carry-on bag when you board the ship.
  3. Prepare for Shopping- There will be plenty of opportunities to shop during your cruise vacation. If you do not travel very often make sure you call you bank and let them know your plans. You don’t want your card denied when you find that perfect souvenir. You can also purchase Disney gift cards to pay for onboard expenses. You can purchase gift cards at a discount at Sam’s Club or use your Target REDcard to save money on gift cards.
  4. Book Shore Excursions- The best shore excursions fill up quickly. Disney allows you to book shore excursions 75 days before your cruise. Castaway Club and Concierge Level guests can book shore excursions 90-125 days prior to sailing.
  5. Make Onboard Reservations- Adult dining reservations at Palo and Remy are the perfect way to celebrate an anniversary or birthday. Spa, fitness, and nursery reservations can also be made in advance. Spaces are limited so take advantage of online booking.

Written by Shante Carson — Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Fantasy.  Bon Voyage!  Shante is ready to help you plan your magical Disney Cruise vacation. Book your next vacation with Shante at 252-917-0497 or shante@destinationsinflorida.com.

Excitement on Expedition Everest

everest2 dtpExpedition Everest is a thrilling roller coaster ride located in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World in Central Florida. The mountain peak is a little less than 200 feet tall, the tallest of all the mountains at the Disney parks! Thrill seekers will delight on their journey aboard a runaway train through the mountains of the Himalayas.

Disney Imagineers worked hard to create a very detailed experience for this attraction. The design and architecture were chosen to immerse you in a setting that is incredibly realistic. As you enter the Tibetan-style building at the foot of Mt. Everest, you will see the booking office of Himalayan Escapes – Tours and Expeditions. After wandering past a temple and general store, you will be able to explore a museum dedicated to the study of the Yeti, the Abominable Snowman.  Be sure and take time to explore the artifacts, pictures and manuscripts.

Once you’ve climbed aboard your 34 passenger steam-engine tea train, hold on to your hat! As you climb the incline, you will get a nice view of the park. When you reach the top, you’ll go through high speed twists and turns through the mountain – faster and faster until…Screech!  Your train comes to a sudden halt. In front of you is a twisted and broken track. Suddenly, you will start flying backwards through the dark mountain!  Along the way, there’s the shadow of …you guessed it, the fierce and mighty Yeti. The train stops again and begins to fly forward, plummeting down an 80-foot drop and through more twists and unexpected turns.

While Expedition Everest is a fairly tame roller coaster ride, some parts may be frightening for younger children. It does not go upside-down. Guests must be 44 inches tall to ride.

Are you ready to take on the Yeti during your next Walt Disney World Vacation?

Written by Sheri Morris, “Main Street Morris”   Sheri is proud grandmother with a keen eye for detail. She specializes in Disney Travel for adults and RV travel.  Book your next vacation with Sheri at 804 405 5005 or at sheri@destinationsinflorida.com.

Teen Scene on the Disney Dream

Disney Cruise Line knows how to cater to kids of all ages. Teens have several spaces designed just for them on the Disney Dream. Let’s explore some of the teen hot spots.

Vibe: Vibe is the teen area for youth ages 14-17. Vibe is open from 11am-2am. Teens can watch movies on the 103-inch LCD screen, play video games, or engage in one of the unique activities led by the youth counselors. There’s a stage for karaoke, talent shows, and dance competitions. Vibe even has its own private pool deck with two splash pools, pop jets, misters, and fountains. Deck games include foosball, a giant checkerboard, and ping pong.

Vibe Sundeck

Chill Spa: The Chill Spa is a teen only area in the Senses Spa. All of the treatments in the Chill Spa are designed for youth ages 13-17 such as the Acne Attack Facial, Surfer’s Scrub, or Ice Cream Manicure and Pedicure. Reservations can be made after 1pm on the first day of your cruise.

chill spa

The Hide Out: The Hide Out is the teen only area on Disney’s Castaway Cay. Teens can kayak, take a bike ride, play sports in the sand, snorkel, or just hang out.

Written by Shante Carson — Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Fantasy.  Bon Voyage!  Shante is ready to help you plan your magical Disney Cruise vacation. Book your next vacation with Shante at 252-917-0497 or shante@destinationsinflorida.com.

SeaWorld Military Discounts 2014

SeaWorld Waves of Honor Program Offers Discounts to Active Military and Veterans

SeaWorld Waves of Honor Program

Active Duty Program

SeaWorld Entertainment is proud to salute the men and women of our armed forces and their families. The Waves of Honor program permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year to either SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens®, Adventure Island®, Water Country USA®, Sesame Place®, or Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark™ in San Diego for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents. Service members and their direct dependents must have a valid active military ID in order to participate.

Veteran Program

SeaWorld Entertainment is also offering 50% off single-day admission for members of the military and veterans, along with up to five guests. These discounts also applies to SeaWorld’s other parks, such as Busch Gardens in Tampa. This offer is valid for qualified service members and veterans which include active, retired, honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.  They must buy tickets by Nov. 11 — Veterans Day — and use them by Dec. 21.

Active Duty military who have already claimed their annual complimentary admission can still purchase the 50% off single-day admission tickets.

Important Information

The tickets for either program are available online at http://www.wavesofhonor.com or at participating military bases. Tickets are not available at the front gate. SeaWorld requires proof of service.

 

Book your Disney & Orlando vacation with a local travel agency. World famous services, free gifts, guaranteed lowest prices, and all at no cost to you! Book your vacation with the local experts – we live where you’re traveling! Call 877-918-8941 or visit us online

Walt Disney World Hotel News, September 19, 2014

Walt Disney World Hotel News for Week of September 19, 2014

Gasparilla Island Grille Grand Floridian

New! Grand Floridian Dining Locations Serving Daily Specials: Beaches Pool Bar & Grill and Gasparillas Island Grill are now serving daily food specials. If you are searching for some quick, special and delicious, keep these dining locations in mind! Specials include:

  • Sunday – Hot Pastrami Sandwich
  • Monday – Barbeque Chicken Sandwich
  • Tuesday – Philly Cheesesteak
  • Wednesday – Patty Melt
  • Thursday – Pork Nachos
  • Friday – Blackened Salmon Sandwich
  • Saturday – Falafel Flatbread

Gasparilla Island Grille Grand Floridian

Reminder! Garden View Tea Room Now Open After Refurbishment: The Garden View Tea Room has opened its doors to continue offering our unique tea time experiences, My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea and Afternoon Tea. Seating will be available at My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Afternoon Tea seating will be available daily from 2-5 p.m.

Reminder!  Trattoria al Forno Coming to Disney’s BoardWalk: With opening planned for December, Disney has shared the first details for Trattoria al Forno, the new restaurant for Disney’s BoardWalk. A “trattoria” is an Italian restaurant serving simple food, and “al forno” is Italian for “food baked in an oven,” and this new spot will showcase Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, cavatelli (small dumpling-shaped pasta) and a variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens. Slices of paper-thin Italian meats, served with a variety of olives and caponata, satisfying pastas, velvety seasonal risottos and fresh seafood and vegetables will celebrate the delectable diversity of Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and recipes from Italy’s various regions. Classic Italian desserts and authentic Italian Wines will also be served. This restaurant opens in the space that is currently Kouzzina. The last day for operation of Kouzzina is September 30th.

Reminder! Wine Pairings at Martha’s Vineyard at Disney’s Beach Club Resort: New late-afternoon wine pairings combine food and wine with a little enlightenment, with wine experts on hand to talk about what you’re sipping at Martha’s Vineyard at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Upcoming dates are 4-5:15 p.m. September 4, September 25, October 2 and October 30. Wineries aren’t yet announced (the last one was France’s Louis Jadot), but the Disney chefs are having fun with pairing delicious food with whatever is poured. It’s an intimate setting – no more than 18 guests, and the conversation flows with the wine. Cost varies, but is in the $20-30 range for three wines paired with three small plates, and price depends on what’s being poured. For reservations, call 407-934-3833.

Wine Pairings at Martha's Vineyard at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Grab a Great Breakfast at Capt. Cook’s

Nestled in the back of the lower level of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you will find a delightful counter service restaurant, Capt. Cook’s.  This is one of the few places you will find 24-hour dining at Walt Disney World.  Capt. Cook’s offers a varied menu, featuring American food with South Pacific flair!

disney2014211My husband and I have a tradition of visiting Capt. Cook’s for breakfast on every Disney vacation, even if we’re not staying at the Polynesian! On our last visit, we were able to appreciate the subtle changes that were made during a recent refurbishment. The restaurant now has a richer, sleek look with warm, wooden accents. The touch screen ordering kiosks have been removed and you now simply place your order with a Cast Member. Once you have ordered you can pick up any additional items from the grab and go section and proceed to the cashier.  You will be given a buzzer to let you know when your order is ready.

disney2014209Breakfast features standard fare, including Mickey waffles, breakfast platters and sandwiches.  Kid’s Meals include french toast sticks, oatmeal, eggs. You can also order à la carte items. One of the highlights (and my personal favorite) is Tonga Toast. It’s a yummy breakfast treat consisting of sourdough bread stuffed with bananas, battered, deep fried and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  We usually share an entrée and split the Tonga Toast as our breakfast ‘dessert’! Hey… you can do that at Disney! Tonga Toast can also be found upstairs at the pricier table service restaurant, Kona Café.

disney2014215The updated indoor seating is comfortable but somewhat limited.  It can be crowded, especially during breakfast hours.  Outdoor seating is plentiful but don’t be tempted to feed the birds!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Don’t overlook Capt. Cook’s during your next Walt Disney World Vacation.  It’s the perfect place for a quick breakfast, a mid day break from the parks or a late night snack. You’ll be glad you did!

Written by Sheri Morris, “Main Street Morris”   Sheri is proud grandmother with a keen eye for detail. She specializes in Disney Travel for adults and RV travel.  Book your next vacation with Sheri at 804 405 5005 or at sheri@destinationsinflorida.com.

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News, September 18, 2014

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News for the Week of September 18, 2014

Goofy Giveback

New! Additional Registration Capacity Available for 2015 WDW Marathon Weekend: Based on the overwhelming guest response runDisney is pleased to announce the “Goofy Giveback”, a unique opportunity for you to participate in the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon. Starting Sept 16th, a limited number of Goofy registrations are again available. runDisney is breaking up the challenge and opening up additional individual registrations for the 2015 Walt Disney World® Half Marathon and Marathon. You can register for these events by visiting runDisney.com. This unique registration period will remain open for 39 days representing the total miles covered in the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. You have until October 24th or until both races reach capacity to take advantage of this special opportunity.

New! New Vera Bradley Design Coming to Downtown Disney Sept 19:  Known for their stylish quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories, Vera Bradley has been infusing color into all aspects of women’s lives for more than 30 years. The Disney Collection by Vera Bradley launched last year and has become very popular. The newest color, Disney Dreaming, will be coming to Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace on September 19. The color features Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dreaming of Disney fun. There will be a variety of styles available with this color including a Hipster Bag, a Zip ID Case, a Vera Bag and more. In early 2015, the team will introduce a duffle and an ultimate backpack with this color. These items will also be found in select Disneyland Resort locations and on the Disney Parks online store later in October. For the online store, visit http://www.DisneyStore.com/VeraBradley where you’ll also find several previously released colors.

disney Dreaming Vera Bradley

New! New Dooney & Bourke Bags Coming to Epcot September 29: With the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returning to Walt Disney World Resort comes some additional exciting news. The Disney Theme Park Merchandise team is releasing a specially designed Dooney & Bourke collection inspired by the annual festival. According to the Disney Parks Blog, when designing the new colorful pattern, Disney Design Group artists were inspired by marketing artwork featuring Chef Mickey Mouse. Three of the items will contain a unique leather hangtag that has the event logo (the wristlet will not have this hangtag). The four new items will be released at the Festival Center in Epcot starting September 29.

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Weekly Walt Disney World Theme Park News, Sept 17, 2014

Walt Disney World Theme Park News - September 17, 2014

Frozen Ice Palace Cinderella Castle

New! “Frozen” Attraction Coming to Epcot: Walt Disney World has made “Frozen” a part of the guest experience in a number of ways already and  guests have loved them as well as asked for more. Last week, Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced that they’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new “Frozen” attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot (opening early 2016).  The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet guests. The last day of operation at Malestrom is October 5, 2014.

New! “Frozen” Characters Magic Kingdom Park Presence Expanded: “Frozen’s” popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. In addition to the ongoing character appearances, Queen Elsa will use her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace every night starting November 5th. And Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

New! Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! Elements Extended at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can continue singing along to “Frozen” songs with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna at The First Time in Forever Sing-Along show — it’s been extended indefinitely! Wandering Oaken’s will set up shop closer to the show through the holiday season and will feature a larger play area with real snow (in Florida!). The Royal Procession and Frozen Fireworks will come to an end as previously announced on September 28th.

New! Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Celebrate Elephants and Rhinos Sept. 23: For guests interested in elephants, rhinos, and conservation efforts for these great animals, September 23 will be a great day to visit as Conservation Station hosts Elephant and Rhino Day, a celebration dedicated to two beautiful, but endangered animal species. Education cast members will staff hands-on activities, the work of the Animal Nutrition Center will be highlighted and Animal Keepers from the Elephant, Savannahs, and Ituri Forest teams will be present to share information and answer questions related to the animal-care profession. Guests will also have the opportunity to speak with representatives from various conservation organizations including the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to learn more about opportunities to get involved.

Animal Kingdom to Celebrate Elephants and Rhinos Sept. 23

New! Halloween Decor Installed in Magic Kingdom Park: It may not be fall yet, but Magic Kingdom Park is already in the Halloween spirit. Fall and Halloween decor are now found throughout Magic Kingdom park, including fall garland, illuminated pumpkins, scarecrows and more.

Fall decor MK

New! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Begins This Week: The 19th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicks off Sept. 19 and runs through Nov. 10 – giving Guests 53 days to taste their way around the world. With new premium experiences, musical acts and culinary experiences, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. This year, enjoy a culinary adventure with three new marketplaces, a new after hours street party and all-new Eat to the Beat dinner packages. The three new marketplaces, Puerto Rico, Patagonia and Farm Fresh– will inspire any picky eater to become a connoisseur of new cuisine. After tasting perfect pairings of the 28 International Marketplaces, party in the streets at Epcot Food & Wine Festival new experience – Late Nights LIVE! on Thursday nights, from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. dance the night away with musical performances, a live DJ and entertainment, and receive six food and beverage items from select marketplaces between the United Kingdom pavilion and World Showcase Plaza ($79 per person). For the first time in the festival’s history, you can pair a delicious meal with a guaranteed seat for one of the rockin’ Eat to the Beat concerts at the America Gardens Theatre. (Prices vary based on dining location.)

Update! New Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Late Nights – LIVE! Now Thursdays Only: Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Late Nights LIVE! street party will run from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Thursday during the festival between the United Kingdom Pavilion and World Showcase Plaza. When first announced, this event was planned to be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but now it’s currently only offered on Thursdays. The event includes six tastes (food and beverages) from select marketplaces, live music, entertainment, and a DJ. Cost is $79, plus tax. Admission to Epcot is not required after 9 p.m. for guests who have purchased credentials to the event. It can be booked up through the day of the event.

New! Change to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Hours: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will be extending operating hours for Saturday, Sept 27.  Park close changed from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

 

Single Parents Welcome on Disney Cruises

Single parentsSingle parents are welcome onboard every Disney Cruise.  Disney Cruise Line will make your vacation as easy and fun as possible. Disney has an excellent youth program. Each child is given an Oceaneer band with a GPS tracker when they board the ship. Youth must wear these bands during the entire cruise. The bands are scanned to check youth into and out of secure youth programs. Children under the age of 8 are not allowed to check themselves out of kids club. Children 8-12 can check themselves in and out at their parents’ discretion. Disney Cruise Line has two wave phones in each stateroom for communication throughout the cruise. Parents are contacted on the wave phone when needed. Single parents can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing their kids are safe and entertained during their cruise vacation.Single Mingle Disney Cruise Line offers adult only areas throughout the ship so single parents can take a minute to themselves. There are several Singles Mingle events where adults can socialize and meet other singles onboard. Don’t be surprised to find that Disney has seated a couple other single parent families at your dinner table. You may end up meeting some new friends that make your vacation even more enjoyable. Single parents can take the time to rejuvenate themselves knowing that their kids are in great hands and having the time of their lives on a Disney Cruise.

Written by Shante Carson — Shante is a Disney Cruise Expert with over ten cruises taken on the Disney Fantasy, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Fantasy.  Bon Voyage!  Shante is ready to help you plan your magical Disney Cruise vacation. Book your next vacation with Shante at 252-917-0497 or shante@destinationsinflorida.com.

#FridayFoto Halloween at Sea on the Disney Cruise

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Disney Cruise Line will treat guests sailing this fall to a wickedly good time as the Disney ships transform into a ghoulish wonderland during Halloween on the High Seas cruises. This extra-spooky celebration features Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment, elaborate décor, and frightfully fun events and activities. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)