Category Archives: walt disney world

Not On My Honeymoon

Back in 2000, Hubby and I went on our honeymoon. We had been married for a year.

Where do you think we went?

Well, Disney of course. While there, I turned 25 years old.

It was my first time there since my College Program. I was so excited to show Hubby around the World since it had been 15 or so years since he had been there.

I was also excited because I was going to be able to finally step foot in the Animal Kingdom because I watched it being built while I was on my College Program.

The first few days of the Honeymoon was great. We enjoyed spending time in Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom.

Then the worse possible thing happened while down in Walt Disney World. I ended up with food poisoning. I spent all day Wednesday of my honeymoon stuck in our Mighty Ducks hotel room. All day long, I was worshiping the white porcelain God.

It was either the Key Lime Pie at the Rainforest Cafe or from drinking at the water fountains. I can eat Key Lime pie now but ever since then I don’t drink at water fountains.

The next day I was able to get out of our hotel room. We went to EPCOT and had breakfast or lunch at the Garden Grill. They gave us a free cake since it was our honeymoon. I don’t think I was able to eat any of it because my stomach was still upset.

We left on Friday of that week. I only wished I hadn’t gotten sick. The flight home was interesting but that is a story for another day.

The next year, we drove down to Walt Disney World in order to have a second honeymoon.

Never get sick in Disney. And not on your honeymoon. That’s the moral of my story.

25 pounds of rice – Disney College Program Memories

When I arrived at Vista Way for my Disney College Program, I was randomly placed into an apartment with Internationals and one other American. The Internationals were on different time tables when they would arrive or leave from when my American roommate and I arrived and left the Disney College Program.

In December of my program, Lisa left for home. We soon got another roommate. Lisa was from the United Kingdom. Our new roommate was from China. Totally different cultures. Lisa was known from drinking her tea and biscuits – aka cookies. X ate more fresh veggies and rice.

I should do another blog post about how different the International program from China was to my program. It was interesting.

Anyway when X. showed up, we had 1 fridge for 6 people. We each had half of a shelf in the fridge. Mine was on the bottom. I don’t remember if it was on the left or right. Lisa’s had been on the other half of the bottom shelf so X. and I shared a shelf.

One day I came home and X. had basically taken over the fridge with all of her fresh produce.

However what amazed me was the 25 pound bag of rice she brought into the small kitchen. I had never seen anything like that before so I was in shock when I saw it. My program was done soon after she moved in so I don’t know where she stored the rice.

Don’t think I’m bashing X. It was just interesting seeing that 25 pound of rice sitting in my kitchen.

Have a magical day,
Traci

If I Could Go Any Where for the Holidays

If I had all of the money in the world, I would love to go down to Walt Disney World for Christmas.

I would not want to visit on Christmas Day because it would be way too busy but I would love to visit at some point in December.

Why would I want to go to Disney during the busy holiday season?

Two years ago, I got to see the decorations at some of the different resorts throughout Walt Disney World.  I loved seeing them.  I also got to see some of the holiday decorations outside of each of the parks.  (We didn’t go into any of the parks.)  I would love to see the decorations inside each of the park.  And photograph them.

Also I haven’t been to any of the Christmas parties in Disney.  When we were there 2 years ago, I hoped they would have one but there was none scheduled.  Bummer!

The last time I celebrated Christmas was during my College Program in 1995.  I worked on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and maybe even New Year’s Day.  I had a visitor during Christmas week and even though we spent time in the park we could not get to Magic Kingdom because it was so busy.  The line for the monorail was all of the way to the entrance.  It would have taken an hour or so to even get on the monorail.

Those are some of the reasons I would love to spend time down in Disney.  The other reason is because honestly December is a hard month for me.  In the last fifteen years, I’ve lost close family members during December – my grandpa in 2003, my grandma in 2008, my father-in-law in 2013, and my father-in-law’s aunt in 2014.  (My grandma’s death was on Christmas Eve.)  

WDW is my happy place.  I’m like a child in a candy store while I’m there.  I put aside all of my worries while I am down there.  In fact, one of the reason I was down there in 2016 was because it was almost 3 months after my sister’s death.  We had planned for a trip to Universal Studios prior to her death.  A month after her death, I was seeing if there was a restaurant reservation available on Thanksgiving.  I luckily found one and a hotel stay for two nights on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  While we were down there, she visited me on Thanksgiving.  (Butterfly)

I would love to just go down there and forget my worries.  

Last year, I shared our local holiday display of Clifton Mill.  They were featured on a national tv show and granted money towards continuing the 30 years of light displays.  

Have a magical day,
Traci

Throwback Thursday – The first time they visited WDW

In April 2009, Hubby and I visited WDW with the boys who were 3 and 5 years old. The Wee One enjoyed meeting all the characters. The smile on his face was truly magical during our visit.

Here a few photos of the boys during their first visit to WDW.

At the All-Star Sports

The Imaginative One went through a phrase where he hated riding boats.  He gave this same look when he rode on the boat to Fort Sumter a few months later.

A few months after this photo was taken was the monorail accident where one of the “drivers” was killed.  I’m so glad to have this photo.

I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane.  They have since visited WDW 2 more times.  Needless to say, we are a Disney family.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Tips for a Non Park Disney Trip – Monorail Resorts

This is the second part of my series about tips for non park Disney trip.  I’m not planning to write anymore unless, it is highly requested for other ideas.

When you get to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), you have 3 options.  Take a monorail to EPCOT, take a monorail to the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts, or take a ferry to the Magic Kingdom.

If you decide to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts, make sure you are getting on the right monorail.  There will be plenty of signs.

  1. Polynesian
    The first stop on the monorail after the TTC is the Polynesian.  Here are my tips about the Polynesian.

    1. Go down to the check in area.  Ask for a lei.  They will give you a lei.
    2. Head to Captain Cook’s, the quick service restaurant on the first floor of the Polynesian.  If it breakfast time, Hubby’s suggestion is that you get Tonga Toast.  My suggestion for lunch / dinner time is the Hawaiian flatbread.  Yum!
      After you order, they’ll give you a pager type thing.  One of the quick service hostesses will bring your food to you so head outside to eat your treat.
    3. Head to the Pineapple Lanai for Dole Whip.  The Dole Whip float is delicious!
    4. Check out the decor of the resort.
    5. Take a walk on the beach.  Swing on the swings on the beach.
  2. The Grand Floridian
    There are 3 ways to get to the Grand Floridian from the Polynesian.

    1. Walk on the beach – There is a pathway.  I highly suggest this way because you will walk past the Wedding Pavilion.
    2. Take a ferry.
    3. Ride on the monorail.
      1. Enjoy the decor.  There is so much to see while you are in the Grand Floridian.
      2. Head over to the Disney Vacation Club building to see the Mary Poppins fountain.  Ask a cast member to direct you to the DVC building.  It’s a must see.
      3. Listen to the Big Band.  There music is fantastic.
      4. If it is Christmas time, the gingerbread house is a must see.
      5. Go outside the front doors.  If Richard the door greeter is there, take a photo with him.  He is a legend at the Grand Floridian.
  3. The Magic Kingdom Entrance area
    There are 3 ways to get to the Magic Kingdom Entrance area.

    1. Follow the path – We did not do that.
    2. Take a ferry.
    3. Ride on the monorail.
      1. You cannot get past security, etc. . . unless you have a ticket so there is not much to do there.  You can try to get a photo of the entrance area.  If it decorated for Christmas, take photos of the tree.
  4. The Contemporary
    You can either walk to the Contemporary or ride the monorail to the Contemporary.  My suggestion is walk because you will get to see Space Mountain as you are walking to the Contemporary.  It’s totally different walking up to the Contemporary instead of riding the monorail.

    1. Once you get there, there is a coffee stand on the first floor.  The smoothies they sell there are delicious!
    2. Head to the fourth floor.  Chef Mickey’s is there and other shopping.  Head to the balcony.  You will be under the monorail.  It is cool to stand there while the monorail is going over your head.
    3. While you are at the balcony, cross the bridge to Bay Tower.  You will get a wonderful view of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.  So totally worth it.
    4. Go up to the highest non Disney Vacation Club floor.  Look down onto the fourth floor and the fifth floor where the monorail station is.  So neat.
    5. Head back to the first floor.  Go outside to find the Mickey Statue.  It is a perfect photo opportunity.
  5. Ticket and Transportation Center
    Ride back to the Ticket and Transportation Center on the monorail.

Here are my blog posts from the monorail resorts:
Entrance to the Magic Kingdom and the ContemporaryPolynesian, Wedding Chapel and the Grand Floridian

Have a magical day,
Traci

My top tips for a non park Disney trip – Disney Springs

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law are heading to Disney soon to watch my niece and nephew march in EPCOT.  They are spending one day visiting resorts/ Disney Springs so I offered to give them some tips.

Disney Springs Hints:

My favorite part of Disney Springs is the Marketplace because it’s the original area that was there when I did my College Program in 1995.  I spent a lot of time there during my limited free time.  It helped that I was just down the road from the Marketplace.

So a lot of these hints involve the Marketplace area.

Before I begin, here are links to my blog posts about our visit to Disney Springs.

Characters in FlightWhat We Ate While in Disney – Disney Springs and Port OrleansDisney Springs

  1.  Take a ferry to Port Orleans.  You pick up the ferry in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs.  As you are traveling to Port Orleans, you will feel as though you are in a Bayou.  We only visited the French Quarter which is the first stop.
    1. While you are there, be in awe of the decor.  They really themed this resort as though you are in New Orleans.
    2. Visit the food court.  Get some beignets.  Sit outside on the patio and enjoy these delicious pastries.
    3. See if the door greeter is there.  If so, get a photo with him.  I did that with the Wee One.
  2. Go to Goofy’s Candy Kitchen.  If they have the free sample of the slushie, enjoy it.  (They still did that last November.)  The design your own Mickey Rice Krispie treat is worth the 5 or so dollars.  Dipped in chocolate, covered with M & M’s, and then drizzled with white chocolate is how the Imaginative One loves it.
    The sour cherry candies are the bomb.
  3. Head over to the Ghirardelli store.  They might be still giving out free samples of chocolate.  If not, enjoy the smells of chocolate.  Yum!
  4. Basin is another favorite place.  Wash your hands with the free samples.  You’ll walk out with softer hands.
  5. Eat lunch/ dinner at Earl of Sandwich.  Order the All American Sandwich.  It’s like a Thanksgiving Dinner on a bun.  Yum!
    None of their sandwiches are gluten free but the salads they do offer look like the bomb!
  6. The Christmas Tree Shoppe has always been a favorite of mine.  It’s a must see if you love Christmas.
  7. The World of Disney is the largest Disney store.  You can find a little bit of everything in that store.  Watch out the Stitch might spit at you.
    Oh and there is a Starbucks close by the World of Disney.  Get your caffeine on.
  8. I love the Lego Store.  The characters they have created out of Legos offer great photo opportunities.  I especially love the dragon in the lagoon.
  9. Behind the Lego Store is the Poutine booth.  If you love fries, cheese curds, and gravy, this is a must try.
  10. Another great place for photo opportunities is just outside the T-Rex restaurant.  We enjoyed doing that.
  11. We have never eaten at the Boathouse.  However there is sometimes concerts there and the amphicars are cool.  What are those?  They are cars that drive on water.  The Wee One thought they were neat.
  12. Sprinkles – There is a cupcake ATM there.  So cool.  It’s another must try.  Get a cupcake to share because they are not cheap.
  13. Blaze Pizza – I’ve heard good things about Blaze Pizza.  We’ve not eaten there though.
  14. We enjoyed the character balloon.  It’s still there but the characters have been taken off the balloon.  It was worth seeing the views of Disney.  There is another Starbucks close by.

Join me Monday for tips about visiting the resorts on the monorail.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Wishes and the Water Pageant Parade

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

Continue reading Wishes and the Water Pageant Parade

Wilderness Lodge and the Entrance of Epcot

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

Continue reading Wilderness Lodge and the Entrance of Epcot

Wedding Chapel and Grand Floridian (Photos and Videos)

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

The Imaginative One and I walked over to the Grand Floridian from the Polynesian.  As we were walking over, we passed the Wedding Chapel area.  The Imaginative One asked me if that is where his dad and I got married.  (Not even close)

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Once we got to the Grand Floridian, the Imaginative One and I checked out the gingerbread house while waiting for the Wee One and Hubby.

After we found them, it was time for the Imaginative One and my reservation at 1900 Park Fare.

After our brunch, we checked out the Grand Floridian a little more before getting on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom area so that we could get a ferry to Wilderness Lodge.

Later on in the evening, the Imaginative One and I once again visited the Grand Floridian.  We got to hear a choir singing Christmas carols which was awesome.

A cast member helped us find the Mary Poppins’ penguin fountain in the Disney Vacation Club villa.  That was on my bucket list for the three days we were in the Disney area.

Enjoy the many photos I took while I was at the Grand Floridian.

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Have a magical day,

Traci