Saturday, April 28, 2012

Disney's All Star Movies Resort

The first time Lord Hill and I ever went to Disney together we stayed at Disney's All Star Movies Resort.  This resort is AMAZING, FUN, COLORFUL, and best of all AFFORDABLE. It's a great resort in the Value catagory and has rates starting at $82 a night. (We stayed during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve so unfortunately we did not get as fabulous as a rate lol) The lobby, arcade, foodcourt, and pool bar are all movie theater themed.

The standard room has 2 double beds,  a vanity area, and a standard shower/tub combo. We were lucky enough to be in the Mighty Ducks section of the resort which was perfect for us given our ages. I do think it's a little strange that they put the Mighty Ducks section in the All Star Movies resort instead of in the All Star Sports Resort since there are so many more Disney movies they could have chosen, but being a big fan of the movie we were excited.

I was even more excited when I saw the pools. Disney's All-Star Movies Resort has 2 swimming pools—the main Sorcerer's Apprentice-themed Fantasia Pool and the smaller Duck Pond pool shaped like a hockey rink and inspired by The Mighty Ducks.

The larger than life theme does not stop at the pools. The resort features Disney icons that tower over 30 feet tall! The buildings are painted in bright colors and covered with playful details and hidden surprises.

The Disney's All Star Movies Resort will always hold a special place in my heart. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to go to Disney World but not looking to spend a small fortune. For just slightly more than you would pay at an off site location, you get a great theme and all of the perks of staying on property at Disney World including Extra Magic Hours and Free Park Transportation and Free Parking at the theme parks.

For more information about this or any other Disney resort, please contact me. It would be my pleasure to help you plan a fabulous Walt Disney World vacation while staying within your comfort zone.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fantasyland Expansion Opening Dates

Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations for U.S. and France, announced opening dates today, April 27, for several attractions in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland project. --

The second half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction will open in July 2012, along with the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station.

-- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, and Ariel’s Grotto will open this fall, in time for the holidays.

 - The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will debut in 2014.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is an often overlooked and underrated vacation destination.  With it's close proximity to Downtown Disney (you can walk or take a boat as well as take a bus or drive) it's a perfect location for those Disney travelers who like to stay active past 10:00pm during low season when the parks close early.

The Victorian inspired theme is simple, and elegant which some people have mistakenly called boring. Disney doesn't do boring. They just do their themes right. Anyone who has been to the racing town of Saratoga Springs, NY cannot deny how perfectly Disney has captured the look and feel of the town. The horse theme is carried throughout the resort but does not feel like a dude ranch (We'll leave that to Fort Wilderness Resort).

 I will admit that when Lord Hill and I originally found out we were being moved to Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa from our originally booked hotel POP Century, we were a bit disappointed. We are young at heart with over the top personalities and were really looking forward to the brightly colored atmosphere and retro themes of the value resort. The POP was overbooked however, so Disney upgraded us to a one bedroom villa at Saratoga. How disappointed could we stay once we say the deluxe accommodations and jacuzzi tub??

Oh, and the view...  The middle image below is the view from our villa's balcony. We were located in the Congress Park area and had a view of the water as well as Downtown Disney. It was also a nice quick walk from our room to the Market Place which was awesome for us since the parks closed fairly early most nights we were there that trip.

The other two images above are from the lobby. They had a framed photo of every horse from an animated Disney film. It was a very nice touch that brought the Disney feel back into the resort.

The resort is HUGE. It is sprawling really. It is like a world unto itself to be honest with you. It is located right on one of Disney's numerous golf courses, boasts it's own spa, and has several themed pools and slides. The dining is also top notch. I could definitely see someone staying at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa and never touching foot in a theme park during the trip.  (I say someone rather than myself b/c let's face it, I don't think I could enter the state of Florida without visiting the Magic Kingdom let alone stay on property and not visit Mr. Mickey Mouse)

Have you ever stayed at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa? What was your favorite part of the resort?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The World is Now More Accessible Than Ever - Explore and Enjoy It!

The world is now more accessible than ever before. Twenty percent (62 million) of the U.S. population has some form of disability, and the number of these individuals is increasing daily. These people need to, want to, and can travel. If you’re part of that twenty percent, a world of travel awaits you.

Travel professionals such as myself who are accessible travel advocates certified by Special Needs Group, the leading global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, have unique, specialized knowledge about how to help individuals with disabilities enjoy a wonderful, hassle-free and memorable trip.

 Here are a few tips from Special Needs Group to ensure that when your next travel opportunity arises, you are ready to go.

Outline your travel needs

Take time to evaluate the logistics of your trip in relation to your ability to keep pace. What modes of transportation will you be using? Airplane, motor coach, train, ship, transit vans for ground transfers? Make a list, referring to relevant brochures, your trip organizer or travel agent to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Now, make a list of your specific requirements. Be honest: what types of special needs equipment do you depend on at home? What do you use or need (or wish you had!) when shopping, sightseeing locally, dining out or going to the movies, attending concerts, the theater, street fairs or sporting events at home?  

Can you hear and see clearly without special auditory equipment or visual aides?  How far can you walk without a rest break? Are stairs difficult? Can you get in and out of the tub or shower at home without handgrips or other assistance?

Travel, whether solo or in a group, is no time for roughing it or trying to “tough it out.” If a wheelchair, scooter or portable oxygen will make your trip easier, place that item on your list. Many people who do not use wheelchairs or walkers at home feel more comfortable using these mobility aides for tour and excursions. In fact, most of Special Needs Group’s wheelchair and scooter rentals are to individuals who only use such aides when traveling.   

Plan Ahead

If you already own a scooter or portable oxygen, it’s important to know the policy and procedures for bringing that equipment onboard all the transport vehicles included in your itinerary, from planes to taxis to ferry boats. Does that transport have a way to stow your scooter or wheelchair? Is oxygen allowed on board? Some airlines prohibit certain types of batteries, such as wet cell batteries, or oxygen cylinders. Airlines operate under strict rules, so there may be packing procedures to follow if they do allow the equipment. Keep in mind, most airlines need at least 48 hours’ notice to make special arrangements, and be prepared to fill out forms. 

Overall, cruise ships are more lenient in allowing oxygen, but some disallow certain types of oxygen. All require that the oxygen be delivered to the ship, and that you have enough for the entire voyage. Oxygen may never be brought aboard in your luggage. Requirements vary, so check your cruise line for proper instructions.  Again, documentation and paperwork are required. 

Whether you are headed for a cruise ship, hotel or all-inclusive resort, double check for wheelchair access at that venue, plus any venues you will be visiting on the trip.  Confirm that accessible hotel rooms, resort accommodations or ship staterooms are available for your travel dates. The earlier you book, the better your chances of securing fully accessible accommodations. And early booking increases your chances of securing a ground floor hotel room or cruise stateroom near the elevator, if these issues are important.

Check on the access to public rooms, restaurants, bars, toilets, the swimming pool, hot tub, beach area and other amenities. Are there TDD phone devices? How will you get in and out of the shower or bathtub? Are there flashing lights to accommodate hearing? Braille room numbers? Knowing in advance the scope of your needs gives you time to arrange advance rentals of any necessary equipment, scheduled to arrive when you do. Everything from scooters, lifts, ramps, TDD kits and special mattresses, including special needs cribs, is available for rental.

Will road travel or car excursions be part of the trip? Many car rental companies have vehicles that are modified for drivers or passengers with mobility limitations. Check ahead to make sure a suitable vehicle will be available for your travel dates. If you will be hiring a car or van, make sure the company is aware of your special needs.

When traveling with a limitation or disability, full travel insurance for medical coverage abroad and trip cancellation insurance are even more important and strongly advised.

Ask the Right Questions

When making the final bookings, be sure you ask the right questions, even if the accommodations or cruise stateroom are categorized as “accessible.”

For example, are doorways wide enough for the largest wheelchairs? Do the doors open outwards or into the room? 

Are all the public areas of the hotel, resort or ship accessible? Do you need to make special arrangements in the dining room to accommodate the wheelchair or scooter?

Will the bathroom facilities truly fit your needs? Is the bathroom large enough for the wheelchair or scooter? Is there a roll-in shower? Grab-bars?

Are there facilities for companion/assistance animals?

Are there shopping and entertainment facilities close by if you are staying at a hotel or resort? 

On shore excursions or tours, does the van have a lift and method for transporting wheelchairs and scooters?  

Simply stated, don’t take anything for granted. It’s easy to arrange for almost every situation, and the world is wonderfully accessible, once you know what’s needed, what’s available and how to find the necessary equipment.

I look forward to helping you with all of your accessible travel needs!
Contact Me for more information!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Featured Disney Dates April/May

Thanks to Meg over at Disney Travel Specials the Mickey's Dream Vacations blog for posting these awesome reminders!

Now Open!
In the New Fantasyland® at Magic Kingdom® Park:
   • The first part of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant
® attraction
   • Barnstormer featuring The Great Goofini
   • The Fantasyland Train Station
Now-May 20, 2012
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, now-May 20, 2012
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, now-May 20, 2012
Now-May 31, 2012
Ride through Snow White's Scary Adventures® at Magic KingdomPark, before it makes way for Princess Fairytale Hall—part of New Fantasyland!
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, May 18-June 10, 2012
Which of these events are you most excited about?

Disney Addicts Live A Much Happier Life

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Little Bug Boutique on Etsy - Product Review and Giveaway!

I am a little bit obsessed with Etsy. I could spend hours just clicking around and looking at all of the adorable and ultra cool things that people make. The Disney inspired creations are especially exciting for me.

I came across Little Bug Boutique while hopping around looking at fabulous Disney things. I immediately fell in love with the Disney inspired hair clips. How cute are these?!?!

I was lucky enough to receive 2 of these adorable clips to review. I chose the Alice and Snow White since they are my favorite female characters. (Rapunzel is a close tie so don't tell her I didn't pick her!)

These clips are so cute, and so sturdy! Not only are they adorable for your hair, but they are also great little dolls. My niece absolutely loved playing with them. They would make a great gift to wear or to use as a toy depending on the child's age.

Enter below for your chance to win 2 Disney Princess Clips of your choice! You can also head over to Little Bug Boutique on Etsy to purchase a set of your own.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New PhotoPass +

Capture more memories than ever with Disney PhotoPass+!  With Disney PhotoPass+ you can have all your Disney’s PhotoPass Photographer photos PLUS select Attraction photos AND Dining Print Packages – All for one price. Product Details: PhotoPass+ will be sold at PhotoPass view stations located throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

 With PhotoPass+ you will have digital files of all your PhotoPass photos, Attraction photos, and Dining photos taken within a 14 day visit to Walt Disney as well as Print Packages at select Dining locations.
Once you arrive home from your vacation, you can view your photos and order a PhotoCD with all the high resolution photos plus a limited license agreement, which allows you to print photos at any local photo processing center.

Participating Attractions:
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
Expedition Everest
Participating Character Dining Locations:
1900 Park Fare
Ohana (Breakfast only)
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
Chef Mickey’s
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Tusker House Restaurant (Breakfast only)
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Disney PhotoPass+ Includes:
PhotoPass+ Card and Lanyard
A gallery CD with over 400 stock photos
A unique code to create and order a PhotoCD with all your photos online at
Print Packages at select Dining locations
Digital Downloads of select Attractions
All for $199.95

Only one PhotoPass+ card will be provided with each purchase.  However, multiple PhotoPass cards can be accumulated during your visit, and all of those photos can be added to your account.  In order to receive your Attraction and Dining photos, the PhotoPass+ card holder must be present at the time of photo capture.    

Only photos taken within the 14 day window, which begins on the date of purchase, will be included in your PhotoPass+ package and available for you to add to your PhotoCD. 

Standard PhotoPass will still be available!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Save Up To 25% with Walt Disney World Resort's Summer Room Offer

Beat the heat this summer by staying at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels and saving up to 25%* for stays most nights June 15 – Aug. 14, 2012.

You can enjoy a 6-night, 7-day vacation at Disney's All-Star Music Resort, including Theme Park tickets, for as low as $69 per person, per day (based on 2 adults, 1 junior and 1 child in a standard room)! That's a total package price of $1,914 for stays most nights June 15 – Aug. 4, 2012.

Offer Details:

For stays most nights June 15 – Aug. 14, 2012:

  • Save 15% at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort and Disney's All-Star Music Resort
  • Save 20% at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Coronado Spring Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, and Disney's Fort Wildness Resort & Campground Cabins
  • Save 25% at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Disney's BoardWalk, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard views only), Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Disney's Old Key West Resort.

Ask about other great rates on stays in other Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Booking and Travel Window:

  • Book April 2 – June 14, 2012, for stays most nights June 15 – Aug. 14, 2012

For more information you can contact me at or at