Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finally. . .Our Magical Disney Adventures, Part 2

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That's it for now for Disney pics. I have finally finished with enhancing PhotoPass pictures (I'll explain this a bit later.)that Disney offers, so that CD should be on its way. If I can remember to do it later, I may share a few with you.

On to Mom's observations about the trip. . . J.J. and Tori had an absolute ball! It is truly a place where your dreams come true! They relished in the fact that they were both treated as a prince and princess by each cast member they (and we) encountered. Even the poor lady who did Tori's make-over was extremely patient with her despite her sour mood due to lack of a full-nap and the heat. J.J. enjoyed fully riding the extreme rides with both his dad and mom (Yep, I am not a total chicken...Hey, you have to ride Space Mountain!). Tori loved meeting most characters and was quite a pro at schmoozing with them. Her favorite thing to do was see the shows featuring princesses, and she saw Club House Disney twice in one afternoon at MGM. We are talking about going back in a couple of years. . . Next time, though, we may try to schedule it during our Fall Break to avoid the oppressive heat.

My tips. . .If your budget allows, go for the full package including park tickets, a Disney resort (Ours was moderately priced with 40% off promotion they were offering in February/March.), and one of the dining plans with snacks. We each had a "Magic" card that was loaded with all the options we had chosen. We even used it to retrieve Fast Passes to ride the popular rides.

Our resort. . .Saratoga was awesome! You had the feel of being at the actual Saratoga Springs at the turn of the century. Be sure to tell them of any special things you are celebrating (birthdays, anniversaries, first visits, or any special family J.J. going to fifth grade) You get buttons to wear, and a special gift from the Disney characters. That goes for the restaurants, too. Several of our tables had Mickey confetti to decorate the table; Narcoossee's gave Chris and I special anniversary menus.

Take advantage of the Photo Pass system. Again, get a card from your resort or one of the many photographers around the parks. When they take pictures, they scan the card and send your picture number to the system. During or at the end of your trip, you can retrieve them and use the many enhancement features to get your photos just the way you want them. If it hadn't been for the photographer at Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, I would have no photos of Tori's makeover process. Again, despite her grouchy mood, he really got some great ones of her.

Ah food, glorious food. . .Wow! What a great feast we had all week! (But, I guarantee we walked and sweated off all the extra calories we consumed.) Some of my park recommendations are the following: eat at least one character meal--the best two were dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom and the Donald's Safari breakfast in Animal Kingdom; Epcot features a great Japanese restaurant called Tappan Edo; (The chef cooks in front of you like several we have at home, but the food was the best I have eaten.); MGM has a great Mom/Pop called 50's Prime Time Cafe. . .but keep your elbows off the table or the waitress will put ketchup on napkins to keep you from it (all in fun!); and last, Tony's on Main Street at Magic Kingdom has great Italian (and huge portions) and, of course, features Lady and the Tramp. With our snack points, frozen lemonade kept us refreshed, and we also discovered we could get bakery items (yum!) with them, too! Also, at the upscale restaurants, kids can get frozen drinks like the adult versions, and those are included in the Deluxe Meal plan.

Something I would do different. . .Well, I would have scheduled an "off' day from the parks. The kids (and the adults, too) needed a day to just enjoy our resort and swim. Next time, this is a must!

One last tip. . .If you are like me and hate packing too many clothes and having tons of laundry when you get home, get a villa like the one we had a Saratoga with a compact washer and dryer. I loved being able to take care of our sweaty, smelly clothes, and packing mostly clean clothes for home.

A book to buy. . .Invest in the Disney Passport. It highlights everything, helps you plan, and keeps you organized. I found mine at Borders for $23.99 with 20% off.

Well, that about covers it. If you are planning a Disney vacation, I hope this will help you in that endeavor. Hope you enjoyed the scrapbooks. . .

Coming soon. . .Our Fourth, Tori and Mia's just for fun fairy party, and our great time last Saturday

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