Lets Get Started!

It seems that the first day of every year that the temperature is say, oh… above maybe 50 degrees, it hits. We get the itch. My husband says to me “Are we sure we’re not going this year?” And I say “… we discussed that it just wasn’t feasible this year” Then maybe a week will go by and we’ll be watching TV and one of those heart wrenching commercials will come on where the father opens up the pizza box, and there is a Mickey shaped pizza and a message that says “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY!”. And I say to JB “Change the channel, I can’t even watch that, I’ll cry”. And so maybe another week goes by and the little voice inside my head says “You know you’ve been saving since you got home last August… you know… just in case… just make the call…” And so I pick up the phone and call… just to get a quote. And so it goes. We always somehow end up in Walt Disney World every August! What did it for us this year was when I called and was surprised to find out that we had a free dining pin! Thank you very much Disney, we’ll take it!

We love Walt Disney World in the summer time. Yes, it is sweltering hot. 97 degrees on a good day. But somehow to me, that’s Disney World. It’s Florida, it’s tropical, it’s just how it’s supposed to be. We’re going to go, we’re going to get tan, we’re going to sweat, and we’re going to love every dripping minute of it. This being said, I know that not every one feels this way, and so first things first, when are you going to go? Maybe you have no choice but to go whenever your have vacation time from your job, or your kids from school, or maybe you have the freedom to go whenever you darn well please. In this case, there are a number of things to consider. Disney World is the least busiest directly after Thanksgiving to just before Christmas, the second week in November, September after Labor Day, all of October, January after New Year’s, and May. If crowds are an issue for you, than go during one of these times! These are all off season times, and crowds will be very light. Just be aware that the parks will open late and close early during these times of year. So even though the parks won’t be as crowded, you will have less time to see everything. Also, temperatures can vary greatly in the off season. Temps in the 40’s are not unlikely in Florida in the late fall, winter, and early spring time. There are also special things that go on in Walt Disney World during certain times of the year, and maybe you want to go when they are going on. The Walt Disney World Marathon is the second weekend in January, Black History Month is celebrated in February, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is held between March and June, The Princess Half-Marathon is at the end of February, Gay Days are in early June, The Tom Joyner Family Reunion is on Labor Day weekend, the Night of Joy is the second weekend in September, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is held late September through early November, the Wine and Dine Half-Marathon is in early October, Mickey\’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is held for about the 24 days before Halloween, Halloween itself, and the night after, and finally, Mickey\’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Woo! There’s a lot to choose from!

Once you know when you are going it is time to do a little homework. The absolute first thing you must do is go out right now and purchase the the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. You can thank me later! This is my bible when planning my Walt Disney World Vacations. You must have it! You then must visit touringplans.com, which is the Unofficial Guide’s web site. You will think that I work for these people by how often I will reference them, but no, I will not benefit at all by telling you about them, but you will!! Next go to the Disney World website, and make sure you request the free vacation planning dvd! My other favorite Walt Disney World Vacation planning sites and blogs are, The Disney Driven LifeThe Moms Panelallears.netthemouseforless.comMouseSaversinner mousedisboards.commouseworldradio.comwdwinfo.comwdwtoday.com, and The Disney Blog. Phew!

Once you have done all your homework, you should decide how long you want to stay, where you want to stay, what kind of tickets or package you want to purchase, and how you want to get there! We always choose a 9 day vacation. Day one is arrival day. Days 2-7 are park days, day 8 is hotel pool/relaxing/packing/Downtown Disney day, and day 9 is the day I bawl my eyes out all day, aka departure day. To me, this is the ideal vacation. I know that everyone can not or may choose not to stay this long, or may choose to stay longer! This is really completely up to you and how much time and money you can allow yourself.

Since it is time to allow myself to close my eyes and put my head  on my pillow, I will leave you now with some time to click on all of the great sites I listed above, and in my next entry, we will discuss hotel and package options! Now go get yourself wrapped up in some pixie dust!

Mickey's Backyard Barbeque 2009

Walt Disney World 2009

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Walt Disney World and Me

I am so excited to be starting a Walt Disney World Vacation planning blog! I decided to start this blog to help not only you the reader, plan your perfect Walt Disney World vacation, but also to help myself keep all my planning in order! I am currently planning our family’s 3rd big Walt Disney World Resort vacation and I couldn’t be happier! Here’s a little background on myself and Walt Disney World. I first visited when I was 3 years old and I am pretty sure that’s when I fell in love! Despite being only 3, I remember this trip vividly. We went in October and stayed at the Caribbean Beach which is one of Disney World’s moderate resorts. My mother woke me up two years later in October again and asked me if I’d rather go to school or Disney World that day. Of course I said Disney World and I embarked on my second Walt Disney World adventure! We stayed at Dixie Landings that vacation which is now Port Orleans Riverside.  I remember so fondly the amazing surprise I got that morning. Our oldest knows we are going this summer but he doesn’t realize when. I can’t wait to wake him up the morning of and tell him that we will be on our way that day! My parents, brother and I went again when I was 7, in October staying at the Caribbean Beach again. I compare myself to my mother because she couldn’t seem to keep herself away The World, much like myself! When I was 11 years old I got to go twice! I went once with school, in April and once with my parents, in October staying at our home away from home, the Caribbean Beach again. The last time my parents took me, I was 13, and we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in April once again which started my love for that resort! After that vacation I took a 7 year hiatus from The World which is quite frankly tragic! I drifted away from the magic a bit in my teenage years but was wrapped back up in it when my husband and I honeymooned in Walt Disney World in August of 2006 which would be my last time there without children! We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge that time. When my oldest J was about 18 months old, we visited my father at his home in Florida in December, and brought J to the Magic Kingdom for the day. It was then that we realized that we had to bring him on a Walt Disney World Vacation! In August of 2009, after our son B was born, we took them on their first WDW trip, and we brought my mother along. We stayed at the Caribbean beach, in one of their pirate rooms because J loves pirates. He was 3, almost 4 years old and I believe this started the same love affair for him with WDW that started for me when I was just the same age. If you ask him now what he wants to be when he grows up he will answer proudly “an Imagineer“. I’m not so sure how many 4-year-olds even know this Disney term but he for sure does! If you ask him what an Imagineer does, he will tell you “well they are the ones who think up Disney’s magic of course”. We brought J and B to visit my father in Florida in April of 2010 and went to the Magic Kingdom for the day again. We again were bitten by the Disney bug, and decided to take them back for another big trip that August. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge again. (LOVE it there!) B was very aware of where he was this time, and now exclaims “It’s Disney World!” whenever he sees Cinderella Castle at the beginning of Disney movies, just as his older brother used to do! We now find it extremely hard to stay away from The World, and I am very pleased to say that we are going back this August! On August 5th we will be en route to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge again for little Miss M’s first time! I have a truly magical life and I am very lucky to be able to have Walt Disney World be such a big part of it! I consider it my duty to expose my children to this, the most magical place on earth! So join me as I embark on the journey of planning our family’s 3rd Walt Disney World Vacation. Stay tuned for Walt Disney World Vacation Planning 101!

Walt Disney World 2010

Walt Disney World 2010

Magic Kingdom 2010

Magic Kingdom Day Trip 2010

Walt Disney World 2009

Walt Disney World 2009 Caribbean Beach Pirate Room