Thursday, May 31, 2012

Disney's Art of Animation Resort Opens Today May 31, 2012 - Enjoy my not so sneak peek!

On May 14th I had the absolute pleasure of touring the Disney's Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World, Florida. The resort had not yet opened to the public so the tour was very special in deed. In honor of the Art of Animation Resort Grand Opening today May 31st, I would like to share some photos. We can call it a "not so sneak peek ;-)


This is a peek at the Little Mermaid section of the resort. I di dnot take these photos, they are from Disney but I didn't want to exclude this section from the post.
The family suites are absolutely amazing, but I know there are plenty of families like mine who don't need all of that extra room but would still like to stay at this new and awesome resort.
The Little Mermaid standard rooms are the perfect solution for those guests.



I did not get a chance to see the Lion King Family Suites section since it is not complete yet, but Disney has released some images of what those rooms are going to look like. I love how well Disney stuck to the them of each area, making each section feel like a different resort without totally taking away from the over all animation theme. Look at the shower wall! It's amazing.








The Cars Family Suites section is another area I did not get to tour up close. Disney has released some images of the rooms, and I was lucky enough to get close to the outdoor themed area. The photos of the room are from Disney, the photos from the outside are taken by me. 

I think it's amazing how well the outdoor areas transition into one another. Looking at the Cars section really made me feel like I was in Radiator Springs. I love that they have the characters there, in life size. I kept expecting them to start talking to us. I really felt like I was transported from central Florida to Route 66 in California.





Something else that I think is AWESOME is that the traffic cones that are part of the "motel" are actually pool cabanas. I love that they aren't just decoration, they serve purpose and allow guests more interaction with the scenary and theme of the resort.







Now on to the section of the resort I got a very good look at.... The Finding Nemo Family Suites Section!!
The collage to the left has a photo of the new Inova Beds that Disney is using in this resort while it is down as a table. The picture to the right of it lowered as a bed. The little orange plastic chairs around the table are light weight and stackable which makes the transition from table to bed nice and easy. The bed in the lower left corner is in the "master bedroom". The middle bottom picture is the overhead light in the rooms, and the bottom right corner is the end table with phone and Jelly fish themed lamp.
One of the awesome things about the suites
(I say awesome a lot, don't I??) is the little kitchenette area. It has a fridge, a sink, a coffee maker, and a microwave. The collage to the right shows the fridge while open and while closed to give you an idea of how much room you have.
The bottom left photo in the collage is of the tv and dresser as well as the area where you can hang your clothing and store items. The little bench seat opens up so you can place things inside. The photo in the bottom right corner is the sofa that folds out into a bed.
Something that familes will enjoy about the suites is that they have 2 bathrooms. One of them is themed in the animation fashion, I call that the "kids bathroom" even though it's the one I would choose to use. It has a single sink vanity, a toilet, hair dryer, and shower/tub combination. We were told during the tour that the shower curtains would be sold in the resort's gift shop. You know what that is? It's AWESOME. The "adult" bathroom is located off the master bedroom and has a very nice stall shower, toilet, and vanity.






The pool in the Finding Nemo section of the resort is the largest pool on Disney property outside of their water parks. It has a zero entry and there is underwater music/sound so that you can hear Nemo and his friends frolic along with you while you "just keep swimming". It is this kind of attention to detail that puts Disney leaps and bounds above the rest of the travel industry. There is a children's splash area as well as a play ground in the Finding Nemo section as well.
I wanted to just curl up and live in the playground. Squirt is just so cute, and the ground was so squishy soft. They almost had to drag me out out kicking and screaming!







Speaking of attention to detail, look at the landscaping!
Even the little grasses and bushes are meant to make you feel like you are under water with Crush, Nemo, Dory and pals... 

It really does feel like you jumped right into the movie with them.







If I had to choose a section for myself to stay in, I would have a hard time choosing between Cars and Finding Nemo. I think Nemo would win though, just because it's got the coolest pool I've ever seen and seriously, just look at Squirt's little face!














When you are done hanging out in the pool you can grab a drink at "The Drop Off" the pool bar/snack area. You could also grab a bite to eat at Landscape of Flavors which is a "create your own"  style food court.

The Pixel Play Arcade is designed for families to be able to spend time together with a neat little lounge in the front for parents to hang out in while the little ones go and play. Games for younger children will be closest to the lounge while games for the older children will be in the back.

Located directly across from the arcade is the Ink and Paint Shop where you can buy all sorts of fun resort specific and Disney World merchandise.
According to our tour, this is the first value resort to have resort specific clothing. They also have a ton of branded merch like pens, cups, and of course, pins! In fact, the Art of Animation logo with Crush that I use in the collages is the resort logo pin.

How cute are the cast member's costumes?! Love the use of color!


The soda selection at Landscape Cafe is large, but unfortunately does not include Cherry Coke. If you're like me, you know how hard it is to find Cherry Coke at Disney World. So far Pop Century is the only place I KNOW I can get it. I did notice that Art of Animation has Mellow Yellow so that's a fun option at least.
The Art of Animation Resort lobby is different from any other lobby at Walt Disney World. Instead of having one large check in desk/counter, they have implimented individual kiosks. They are hoping that this will enhance the guest/cast member interaction and help the guests feel more welcome and at home.

The art in the lobby is not to be missed. Even if you are not staying at this resort, I suggest you head over just to see the actual artist concept art and finished story boards from the movies the resort is themed around. The chandelier is an amazing piece of art all on it's own.



I hope you have enjoyed my cyber tour of Disney's Art of Animation Resort! If you were lucky enough to be at today's opening ceremony and would like to share some photos with me and my readers please send me an email. I'd love to share them!
LadyInWonderland (at) gmail (dot) com





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finding Nemo Pool Underwater Sounds at Art of Animation Resort

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World 2 weeks ago. It was AMAZING. I will be doing a separate post with photos of the resort but I just came across this video and had to share it with you. One of the coolest things about this resort is the Finding Nemo pool. It is the largest swimming pool on Disney property, outside of the water parks. When you go under water you actually hear Nemo and his friends!! How awesome is that?!?! I really hope this pool isn't blocked out from DVC pool hopping!! Enjoy the video! 




*I did not take this video*

Monday, May 28, 2012

Big Thunder Mountain Reopens Monday May 28th!

After being closed for 5 months for a major refurbishment, I am happy to say that Big Thunder Mountain has started it's soft opening and will officially today, Monday May 28th!


There was extensive work done on the track, the show scenes, and the queue.
The best part is that all of the show/ride elements are now working including the geysers!


If you have any photos of the newly refurbished queue and/or ride, please let me know. I'd love to share them with my readers.

Memorial Day

 


Thank you to the men and women who have served to protect us, especially to those who gave their lives to protect our freedom.  Please, take a moment to remember what today is really about.



Friday, May 25, 2012

Brave – The Highland Games Tournament Runs June 1-July 8 at Epcot

The Disney Parks Blog announced today that the Magic Kingdom meet and greet isn't the only Brave touch coming to the Walt Disney World theme park.



Starting June 1st and running through July 8th the  "Brave - Highland Games Tournament" will offer children games like Mini Caber Toss, Cake Toss, Haggis Flip and archery.

There is also going to be a kids' playground with free wifi for those of us too old to participate in the tournament.

If you happen to be in EPCOT during these dates be sure to drop by the Rose Walk (where Future World and World Showcase meet) to participate in this fun event.

The tournament will take place from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., daily. Park admission is required.

If that doesn't satisfy your hunger for all things Brave then hop on the monrail and go visit Merida at her new interactive meet and greet at Magic Kingdom. More info can be found here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

High School and College Kids Aren't the Only Graduates Celebrating at Disney!

I spent the past 5 days participating in the Disney College of Knowledge Agent Education Program at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

We celebrated with a little graduation ceremony of our own. Much like a high school or college graduation it was about much more than the completed course work. I learned valuable lessons, and I made friends that I will cherish for years to come.

I can't wait to show you some of the amazing photos I took during a special tour of the brand new, not even open to the public, Disney's Art of Animation Resort. I also got a chance to tour several of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels as well as the incredible Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream!

There will be tons of photos so be sure to stay tuned for more information!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brave Character Meet & Greet Opening at Magic Kingdom

Rumor has it that Merida from Disney's new movie Brave will start appearing in front of Fairytale Castle tomorrow, May 11. Her new home inside Fairytale Gardens is rumored to be opening on May 18, 2012.



To find her head over to the area to the right of the front of Cinderella's Castle look for the entrance right before the bathrooms on your way to the tea cups and raceway. It used to be Rapunzel's meet and greet area. I won't lie. I'm sad to see that go.  I am excited about the possibilities for this experience though. The movie looks great and the interactions they have mentioned seem really cool for boys and girls alike.

Here is a sneak peak at what the area is supposedly going to look like when it's finished:


After some quick investigating I've come across a few videos from EPCOT where Merida has already been making an appearance. I must say, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, Disney needs to have higher standards when it comes to their face characters. There is one very animated lass who seems like she'd be perfect, except she just looks too old. I know the girl is probably in like her early 20's or something, but honestly, she just doesn't look like the character at all other than her crazy hair. I do enjoy her personality, but everything else just rubs me the wrong way. Lord Hill agrees. SO After seeing photos of her and some quick videos of her I went on a google search to see what I could find and I am so glad I did b/c I came across this gem of a video. I am so happy she exists and I desparately hope I get to meet HER specifically.
She looks like a cartoon character with her fabulous big eyes and her voice is perfect and she looks to be the perfect age. LOVE HER. Can't wait to check out this meet and greet experience when it finally debuts in the Magic Kingdom.





Many fhanks to Chelsea a fellow Mickey's Dream Vacations agent and blogger for the info that the meet and greet was opening. Be sure to check out her blog!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Disney's Pop Century Resort is one of the coolest, funkiest, far out resorts I have ever stayed at.
It was seriously so much fun to just walk around and look at! The colors were awesome, the giant characters and decor were totally radical, and the nostalgic feeling the resort had for guests of all ages was magical.

My favorite section was definitely the 80's section but the whole resort was awesome. The food court is amazing and the tie dye cheesecake is not to be missed. 

Look at the awesome the delicious Pop Century waffles!

Seriously, I was so impressed with the waffle that I took about 10 photos of it. You only get to see one, b/c I need to save room to show you all of the other awesome stuff at the resort.

The giant Mickey phone is one of my favorite things at Walt Disney World. I own a Mickey Mouse phone that my parents got for sitting through a horrible time share experience when I was a kid. I think they had  a choice of the phone or something fabulous that they as adults could actually use but once I saw the phone, I was hooked.



Check out the gnarly action shot of me giving Mr and Mrs Potato Head a high five. It took about 20 tries to get that photo. It's one of my proudest Disney photo moments.

The bowling pin and the rubix cube are stairways for the hotel. How cool is that?!? It's the little things like that which make me love this resort.

The giant Big Wheels was so cool!! I really wanted the pedal to spin. I won't lie, I was a little sad when it didn't. Click the image to the left to make it bigger b/c that is also an action shot and I really want you to see and enjoy all of the hard work I put in to those photos to make you smile.



 There is a really neat trail that goes along the water at the resort. It has signs for every year with a little bit of info about the year. Lord Hill and I were very excited when we finally came across the years of our birth. (Yes, you're seeing that correctly, I am older than Lord Hill and "robbed the cradle"
I think that the walkway with the signs is a great place for families to take some photos. It would be cute to go there every visit just to take pics of the kids with the signs as they got older. BUT I just realized a flaw in my plan, I don't think it goes past the 90's. I'm honestly not sure though b/c I got distracted by some other cool things while taking our walk and stopped paying attention to the signs.
 Do you see that car?!?! How did a guy like Goofy score such a hot ride?!?


Lord Hill really enjoyed the giant characters. Along with Mowgli and Baloo pictured here there were awesome sculptures of Lady and the Tramp, Roger Rabbit and more.

The yo-yo is also a stair case.

I tried to reenact the break dancers on the building while playing twister outside my room. As you can see, I was not very successful.

In the future I will leave the dancing to the experts and I will stick to drooling over cars and posing for silly photos with my favorite characters.



Another quick but important tidbit about this resort is that it's a VALUE resort which means you get all of the above awesomeness for a low price. However, unlike the other three (four now I guess with Art of Animation) value resorts, Pop Century does not currently share a bus with any other resort. This is a HUGE plus in my opinion and I definitely recomend checking it out if you want to go to Disney on a value budget.

Contact me for more information about this, or any other Disney resort.
Kerri@MickeysDreamVacations.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets On Sale Now!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event that takes place on select nights at Magic Kingdom Park throughout the holiday season.



Don’t miss Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, a very special holiday fireworks display, live entertainment with your favorite characters, snow on Main Street, U.S.A., free hot cocoa and cookies, and so much more! Purchase of an additional event admission ticket is required to attend.

Parties will take place:
  • November 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29 and 30
  • December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21
TIP: Purchasing tickets ahead of event dates may get you a discount of $10 per ticket!

Contact me for more information: Kerri@MickeysDreamVacations.com

Night of Joy Tickets On Sale Now

Each fall, Night of Joy brings spirited and soulful entertainment to Magic Kingdom theme park.


Night of Joy is a contemporary Christian music festival where guests can enjoy live performances from musicians of varying genres including rock, pop and gospel.

The dates for this year's event are September 7, 2012 and September 8, 2012.

Guests will enjoy performances from a variety of Christian artists, including:

Performing Friday, September 7, 2012:
Casting Crowns
Chris Tomlin
NEEDTOBREATHE
RED
Francesca Battistelli
Brandon Heath
Royal Tailor
Disciple

Performing Saturday, September 8, 2012:
MercyMe
Third Day
Kutless
Chris August
Lecrae
Yolanda Adams
Thousand Foot Krutch
Dara Maclean

From soulful, inspiring singers to hard-hitting, high-energy rockers, Night of Joy offers a variety of entertainment that's sure to lift your spirits.

Contact me for more information! 

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Tickets On Sale Now!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party dates have been released and tickets are available by phone. 
They are not available on-line just yet.
 


Sept 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28 Advanced Purchase Price is $50.95 for children and $55.95 for adults (plus tax)
 

Sept 30th, Oct. 4, 8, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30, Nov 2nd are each $53.95 for children and $58.95 for adults (plus tax)
 

Oct 5, 12, 26 do not have reduced advanced purchase pricing these are Friday nights and are at a premium..$59.95 for children and $64.95 for adults (plus tax)
 

October 31st, Halloween Night is $67.05 for children and $69.95 for adults.
 

The Party runs each night from 7pm-midnight. There has been no official announcement yet on whether party goers may enter at 4pm but this was the case last year and other than 2010 it was allowed in previous years, as well. 

Also, several tours and experiences have been holding out for the official MNSSHP to release their tickets. Pirates and Pals Fireworks for these dates, for instance have not been released for purchase as of this morning.

Several of the party dates fall within Disney World's FREE DINING promotion dates as well as the newest "Room Only" late summer promotion. You can stay in a standard room at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort starting at just $70 per night, plus tax, for most Sunday through Thursday nights Aug. 15 – Sept. 27, 2012. That's a savings of 20%! Late Summer/Fall is my favorite time of year to visit Disney World, it's not too hot, the crowds are fairly low, and of course there is Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.

For more information on visiting Walt Disney World during this magical time, please contact me for a FREE no obligation quote. TravelKerri@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nicocallie on Etsy: Review & Giveaway

I am very excited to bring you my latest product review and giveaway! Beth from Nicocallie on Etsy was generous enough to provide one of her Personalized Disney Couples Subway Art  pieces for me to review.


I fell instantly in love with this piece when I saw it on Etsy. It's so cute, modern, chic, and yet, classic in it's design and the Disney couples made me melt a little. I loved the idea of including Lord Hill and I in that roster so to speak.

Beth lets you choose the colors, but I must say even with my purple living room walls, I would still go with the red and gray combination even if she hadn't suggested it. It makes the names pop and just looks super cool.

The piece was completed very quickly and Beth's communication was incredible the entire time. Shipping speed was excellent, the package arrived safely and quickly. I am always nervous when I order anything fragile, but Beth's packing skills ensured that it arrived safely. While some people may think that the shipping cost is high, I personally would pay it in a heartbeat. Standard shipping covers the box and packing materials, Parcel Post shipping speed and insurance to cover the item if broken on arrival. It's better to be safe than sorry when ordering a glass piece of custom art.

Each custom frame is $45 which I think is reasonable for a handmade item of this size and quality. It's a great price for a gift for a bridal shower or engagement party.

I have included photos of my personal piece that is hanging on my wall, (sorry about the glare, Lord Hill hung it before I got a chance to take photos and the camera isn't quite doing the piece justice.) I also included a photo from the shop on Etsy.


You can buy your very own Personalized Disney Couples Subway Art frame HERE on Etsy.
Beth was kind enough to create a custom discount just for readers of Lady In Wonderland. Be sure to message Beth through Etsy and mention the special code Wonderland10 to receive 10% off your order before you purchase your frame!

 

Enter below for your chance to win your own personalized Disney couples subway art.