TIP for using Genie + Summer 2022

Disney World’s Genie Plus

Summer / Fall 2022 –

We Mastered How to Use It!

After watching countless YouTube Videos we finally figured out how to use Disney’s Genie Plus in the My Disney Experience App during our July/August 2022 Vacation.

DISCLAIMER: Genie + is continuously changing and we cannot be held responsible if it is any different during the time of your vacation. I am not responsible for any upsets or anything that can/will go wrong during your vacation or trip.

Purchase Genie at 12 midnight or 6am during day of your visit

You’re going to want to get up early so you have it purchased in plenty of time before 7am.

Have a plan!

Know what park you’re visiting and have a Top Attractions List idea in mind.

7am Book Your First Ride of the Day

When you open Genie you will find the time selections available located inside the TIP BOARD. You will want to click BOOK EXPERIENCE.

You will have advanced park reservations – so you know what park you will be heading into for the day. Know in advance which attraction your party wants to conquer first! Possibly make a list in your NOTES section in your phone.

*It is best to know which rides are a must-do at every park before you even set out on your adventure! This way you know what you are looking to book at 7am. If you’re not sure you might miss out on a time.

Be already on Genie at 6:45am refreshing until 7am for first choice selections.

During our July/August vacation I was not able to book a second Genie selection until after we scanned in to our first selection of the day – despite what we had been told. I heard you could stack another selection 2 hours after park opening each day – however it would not work for us. If it works for you please let me know in the comments! If I am not mistaken selected experiences need to be 2 hours apart?

Make Another Selection AFTER you SCAN Your 1st Selection of the Day

REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH!

When you open Genie (after you have scanned in to ride your attraction) INSIDE THE TIP BOARD to book another selection, you might not like the times available; but do not despair! ✨🌟Keep pulling down 🌟and refreshing 🌟and the times should change💫 – giving you some better options.

You Can Even Change Parks When Park Hopping!

You won’t be able to book another selection at another park until after 2pm which is when Park Hopping Time Begins (is allowed). Then in MDE inside Genie + you will need to change which park you want to head to.

Is Genie Worth It?

Yes for our family it is – but possibly not for everyone. We also utilize the DAS system which is the Disability Access System. My husband is a type 1 diabetic affected by temperature and not able to stand in long lines. My younger son has POTS and a hypermobility disorder with no temperature regulation; so the temperature can cause him to become ill and he is not able to stand in long lines/ needs quick access to bathrooms. Sitting in a wheelchair could also make my son a faint hazard. My other son has a severe anxiety disorder. We are not that healthy family that is capable of standing in long lines… SO…….we utilize DAS as well as Genie Plus for ease of access to bathrooms, rest and snacks instead of waiting on long lines. We felt that in order for OUR best use of times we almost had to have both – some people choose not to.

YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILLY!

Can a trip be great at WDW even without Genie? Sure, but it might be tricky and you will need to put on your Patient Hat.

Do we wish Disney would bring back the FREE Fast Pass System? Absolutely! We cannot give up hope.

Are You Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation? I would love to hear in the comments below.

https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/

Chef Mickey’s All-You-Can-Eat FAMILY STYLE COST

OUT OF POCKET: NO DINING PLAN OFFERINGS Summer 2021

Planning on heading to Chef Mickey’s soon? Here’s a few things to know.

With still no Dining Plan Offerings in near-sight, you will have to account for the full cost of paying out of pocket pricing for some pretty hefty pricing for dining in Walt Disney World. Chef Mickey’s being one of them.

$240.00 was our bill with tip* for our family of 4 EVEN WITH MY ANNUAL PASS DISCOUNT which only takes off about 10%. At what used to be an excellent buffet (especially in recent years, until covid hit) and is now a family-style ALL YOU CAN EAT, which we did enjoy a nice dinner on a stormy June night. – ** THIS was one of the only times we got to see the main man, Mickey Mouse during our vacation. The other time was a Hollywood Studios Cavalcade. My two children were ages 13 and 10 at the time with my husband and I – which is a typical family of 4.

The waitress did bring out some yummy food starting with delicious types of salad as starters. Some entrees offered were salmon, turkey, beef and more. My kids also asked for chicken fingers. Deserts like their signature mousse over Oreos, apple tart, strawberry cake, and chocolate chip cookies etc were brought out. You were allowed to ask for as much as you wanted and the waitress would bring it to you.

I always purchase Discounted DISNEY GIFT CARDS from either Target or BJs to save as much as possible. This is how I paid for all of our dining on this past trip – tips included.

We did not have a reservation so since we had some really awful rained-out STORMY nights, we decided to head to the Contemporary Resort and figured if we couldn’t get into Chef Mickey’s we would just eat at their quick service. Since we were resort guests of Fort Wilderness, and happened to have our own car – we didn’t have any issues upon entering the Contemporary especially since the resort was not crowded. We only had to wait 30 minutes so we did some shopping in the gift shops while waiting. We did get to see some other characters in addition to Mickey, like Pluto, Donald and Minnie. The characters come out individually, dancing around and posing for your pictures – not getting too close.

It was definitely nice that this was an option since there were heavy downpours, thunder and lightening that lasted most of the night and Magic Kingdom was at a point where it was still closing at 9pm which was disappointing.

We are so excited for the Disney Dining Plan to return! (hoping and praying it won’t be worse or any more expensive than it already was!)

Pics from Chef Mickey’s

Do you think Chef Mickey’s is worth the expense?

When is your next Disney World Trip?

Want to know what our Disney Trip was like with no dining plan? CLICK HERE!

What Disney Was Like With NO DINING PLAN

For those of you that travel to Disney World Often and LOVE having a Dining Plan OR maybe you have been booking a first time trip but wanted a dining plan: Here is our experience with how we handled not having our beloved pre-paid dining plan.

Deluxe Dining Plan – (This was fantastic because ALL of our food was paid off prior to our vacation, excluding tips)

Pre-Covid – in recent years, when we would travel to WDW we always preferred to have the Deluxe Dining Plan. This gives us 3 table sit-down services per day ( for each member of your party) – which can be used at any of the Disney Dining locations – buffets, quick services etc. It also gives each person 2 snacks per day – to use on any snack from ice cream, cupcakes to beverages. We normally love character buffets and fine dining. At each sit down meal you get: 1 appetizer per person, 1 main course and 1 desert per person including beverages and the adults were allowed 1 alcoholic drink per adult. I mean can you say SPOILED!? For a family of 4 which has been 3 adults and 1 child (according to their age range), it usually costs us close to/ roughly $2,000 for roughly a 7 or 8 day vacation; ****that we can pay off before we go*** – always using discounted Disney Gift Cards. It is a great feeling when you know the food part of your vacation is already paid off, before you even arrive. They do offer other options of dining plans, but this is the one we always choose because we get the most value for our money out of this one. We have 2 growing boys and a type 1 juvenile diabetic husband – so we need to eat so his sugar does not drop. Plus we love our air conditioned breaks and being waited on when you’re hot and tired from all the hustle and bustle of the vacation.

June 2021 Vacation NO Dining Plan

FAST FORWARD

So after dealing with the pandemic for over a year, as things started to get better we couldn’t wait to get back to our happy place. We knew going in that we were already spoiled and we wouldn’t be eating nearly as much, or as GOOD as we usually do. So I have to tell you that we did a LOT of mobile-ordering to quick services. We had to budget since I hadn’t worked all year and we didn’t have our precious dining plan. The quick services seemed to be the cheapest option coming to anywhere between $60-$70 for the 4 of us… There were a few sit-down restaurants that actually did not come to much more – but not including tip – for instance Mama Melrose and 50’s Prime Time both in Hollywood Studios were pretty reasonable and delicious. I did use discounted Disney Gift Cards to save as much as we could. We did NOT dine at finer signature restaurants like Le Cellier or Chefs de France in Epcot, or Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom, or even Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

All in all, we spent around $2,000 out of pocket, not being able to dine at the lovely select Disney Signature Restaurants, and mostly quick services. My kids do love those mickey bars; but at $6.00 a pop we were feeling it. Chef Mickeys and the Crystal Palace were the most expensive costing well over $200 plus tip.

Keep in mind during this late June 2021 trip a lot was still not opened, character meals were scarce and not like they used to be. So many options still closed. Part of what used to make our Disney Vacations so magical was the character dining – that made it much more affordable with the dining plan! They actually just started fireworks at Magic Kingdom a few days after we checked out.

Ways To Save Money

Annual Pass Discounts

Already being annual passholders, we were only able to afford to renew my annual pass. This way with the annual pass we got a decent room discount. The Annual Pass Discounts also get you 20% off merchandise and about 10% off of dining. I had hoped the AP Discount would have been higher for food but unfortunately it was not. Your annual pass is connected to your My Disney Experience so when you mobile order your AP Discount will automatically be taken off, as long as the restaurant takes it. We were sad to learn that Cosmic Rays in Magic Kingdom DID NOT give any Annual Pass Discounts. I am not sure renewing my AP was actually worth it in the long run – unless we are able to make it back this fall. There are currently NO AP room discounts for the fall yet – and WHO KNOWS IF THEY WILL EVEN RELEASE ANY. Disney World is booking up fast for their 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Discounted Disney Gift Cards

I always purchase Disney Gift cards through Target or BJ’s. At Target you save 5% and BJ’s is around the same, but can be slightly lower as the pricing fluctuates there. This is something I always do – because I use them to pay for our entire Disney Vacation. When it’s all said and done I end up saving around $300 which is worth the effort to me. I also like not having to pull out a credit card every where we go. So while there we were able to use the Disney Gift card for mobile order, merchandise, drinks and cocktails, snacks, and the table service restaurants. You can combine Disney Gift cards onto 1, holding up to $1,000 on each gift card. In Disney World $1,000 goes quickly!

We are so EXCITED for the return of the Disney Dining Plan!

We really hope that when the Disney Dining plan returns, it will be the same or better – and not worse. We will not be returning to WDW until it does return because a big part of what we love about Disney is eating!

We are keeping all eyes and ears on the lookout for the return date!

Here is my video on our recent June 2011 Disney World Trip without the dining plan!

Need help convincing a family member to travel to Disney?! CLICK HERE FOR HELP!

Considering Staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort in a Cabin?! CLICK HERE!

Now Selling Customizable Items on Etsy!

Finally putting my photography to good use…..

I am NOW selling some customizable downloadable items created in Canva and sold on Etsy. There will be more to come as time goes by but check out my first product.

CLICK HERE

A downloadable customizable Christmas Card! Once you purchase the card you will receive a PDF with steps on how to download and a link inside the PDF will bring you to the Canva template. However you do need a Canva account.

Let me know what you think!

Sample Disney World Vaca Itinerary 2022

Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation and don’t know where to start? Look no further

After making your resort reservations and deciding on how many days of park tickets and IF they will be hoppers you will need to make PARK RESERVATIONS!

Here is a sample guide from our most recent Disney Vacation from August 2022

When is your next Walt Disney World Vacation?!

TIP for using Genie + Summer 2022

Disney World’s Genie Plus

Summer / Fall 2022 –

We Mastered How to Use It!

After watching countless YouTube Videos we finally figured out how to use Disney’s Genie Plus in the My Disney Experience App during our July/August 2022 Vacation.

DISCLAIMER: Genie + is continuously changing and we cannot be held responsible if it is any different during the time of your vacation. I am not responsible for any upsets or anything that can/will go wrong during your vacation or trip.

Purchase Genie at 12 midnight or 6am during day of your visit

You’re going to want to get up early so you have it purchased in plenty of time before 7am.

Have a plan!

Know what park you’re visiting and have a Top Attractions List idea in mind.

7am Book Your First Ride of the Day

When you open Genie you will find the time selections available located inside the TIP BOARD. You will want to click BOOK EXPERIENCE.

You will have advanced park reservations – so you know what park you will be heading into for the day. Know in advance which attraction your party wants to conquer first! Possibly make a list in your NOTES section in your phone.

*It is best to know which rides are a must-do at every park before you even set out on your adventure! This way you know what you are looking to book at 7am. If you’re not sure you might miss out on a time.

Be already on Genie at 6:45am refreshing until 7am for first choice selections.

During our July/August vacation I was not able to book a second Genie selection until after we scanned in to our first selection of the day – despite what we had been told. I heard you could stack another selection 2 hours after park opening each day – however it would not work for us. If it works for you please let me know in the comments! If I am not mistaken selected experiences need to be 2 hours apart?

Make Another Selection AFTER you SCAN Your 1st Selection of the Day

REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH!

When you open Genie (after you have scanned in to ride your attraction) INSIDE THE TIP BOARD to book another selection, you might not like the times available; but do not despair! ✨🌟Keep pulling down 🌟and refreshing 🌟and the times should change💫 – giving you some better options.

You Can Even Change Parks When Park Hopping!

You won’t be able to book another selection at another park until after 2pm which is when Park Hopping Time Begins (is allowed). Then in MDE inside Genie + you will need to change which park you want to head to.

Is Genie Worth It?

Yes for our family it is – but possibly not for everyone. We also utilize the DAS system which is the Disability Access System. My husband is a type 1 diabetic affected by temperature and not able to stand in long lines. My younger son has POTS and a hypermobility disorder with no temperature regulation; so the temperature can cause him to become ill and he is not able to stand in long lines/ needs quick access to bathrooms. Sitting in a wheelchair could also make my son a faint hazard. My other son has a severe anxiety disorder. We are not that healthy family that is capable of standing in long lines… SO…….we utilize DAS as well as Genie Plus for ease of access to bathrooms, rest and snacks instead of waiting on long lines. We felt that in order for OUR best use of times we almost had to have both – some people choose not to.

YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILLY!

Can a trip be great at WDW even without Genie? Sure, but it might be tricky and you will need to put on your Patient Hat.

Do we wish Disney would bring back the FREE Fast Pass System? Absolutely! We cannot give up hope.

Are You Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation? I would love to hear in the comments below.

https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/

What You Need To Know About Genie+ Before You Go!

Our Experience with Genie+

BUY IT PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP OR THE MORNING OF HEADING TO THE PARK BUT BEFORE 6:45AM

When we travel to Disney World we always use Disney’s Disability Access System for our younger son who suffers from POTS and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Both of these chronic medical conditions can cause him to have blood pooling in the legs, get dizzy/pass out, it messes with his blood pressure and pulse just from standing in one place too long -without moving. They also bring on a lot of IBS – just from extra exercise or warmer temps. We have never had any issues with it UNTIL our December 2021 trip.

Our first park day was at Hollywood Studios and Upon Arrival the Cast Member at Guest Services told us that DAS was now for people with cognitive disabilities and pointed us in the the way of wheelchairs. My son does not need a wheel chair……. he can walk – actually the more exercise is better for him because if he conforms to a wheelchair it will make his already weak muscles weaker. This woman clearer did NOT understand the impact of his condition at all. DAS simply states it is for people that are NOT able to stand in long lines. PERIOD.

Heartache

So trying not to feel too angry and let it destroy our day, we decided to add the Genie+. It came to over an extra $60 for the day for the 4 of us. Since we had not signed up and booked something at 7am Rise of Resistance and Slinky – Hollywood’s 2 most popular rides – were completely sold out for the day. Pure heart ache right here. Rise of the Resistance had 2 hour wait times. Slinky always has about a 90 minute wait. DISNEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?

If we had KNOWN prior and signed up for this “amazing” Genie+ before 7am**** we could have booked RIR and then made it to Slinky at rope drop. Rope Drop is a simple term Disney Addicts use for getting inside the park as soon as it opens and you make a beeline to your ride of choice. Typically at rope drop there are minimal to low wait times.

We Only Used Genie+ for 1 maybe 2 Rides.

What a waste.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Plan to pay $15 per person extra per day for any day you want to utilize Disney+.

Research Disney+ prior to your vacation. Watch YouTube videos on how to use it. We love DFB – Disney Food Blog and All Ears Molly.

I believe you have the option to purchase Disney+ now when booking your vacation but do not quote me on that, I am not 100% sure. Just make sure you plan to purchase it 6:30 the morning of your park day (if you’re a resort guest) and from 6:45 on keep trying to book the most popular rides that you and your family are interested in getting on. Then for the others plan to “rope drop” or hit it at park closing.

Disney World If You Are Reading: PLEASE BRING BACK THE DINING PLAN AND 3 (free) FAST PASSES per day! What are you thinking?!!

May the 4th Be With You!

Happy National Star Wars Day Everyone!

I know most of us, including myself & my family are wishing we could be in Disney World on this extraordinary day! Years passed have proven to be so magical spending this day at Hollywood Studios! What a magnificent day it was the weather in Florida during the beginning of May is usually gorgeous and has been known to be usually a more low-crowd time. Plus you get all the beauty of Flower & Garden show.

Here are some ways to celebrate May the Fourth while distracting yourself about what is going on in the outside world, while easily maintaining your safety as well as others’:

Disney Plus is now streaming a new documentary called the Gallery which will show behind the scenes in the making of the new hit series The Mandalorian now streaming on Disney Plus. You can catch the entire Star Wars Saga on Disney Plus as well! You can also find Clone Wars and Rebels on Disney Plus.

Sorcerer Radio – I just heard a string of some Disney Park Star Wars Music! Nothing like hearing park themed music to get you in a better mood. Download the app or listen from the website Sorcerer Radio and you may just hear some cool Star Wars Tunes!

Shop Disney now has some new “The Child” (aka Baby Yoda Merchandise) – shirts for everyone, “The Child” funkpop, character action figures, as well as other Star Wars type merchandise.

Lego Store has a promotion going on where if you spend $75 on select Lego sets or more they will give you a free Death Star 2 Battle set. ENDS TODAY!

Get out your own Star Wars Legos and build something NEW! Put those creative juices together and make something fun and do it OUTSIDE because its another gorgeous day in the North East! Soak up every ounce of the sun you can get! No better way to do it than playing with Star Wars Toys or Legos!

Take any Star Wars toys or Legos you have and go outside and set up your own planet.

My kids recently whipped out their OLD Lego Stars Games on the Wii.

You can purchase a download of Lego Stars Wars Force Awakens for $20 on XBOX made in 2016.

Click here for an important TRAVEL TIP for planning you next Disney World Vacation!

What are you doing to pass the time during the quarantine?

CHECK OUT OUR VLOG on the Rise of The Resistance Ride in Walt Disney World!

Disney World Travel Tip:

TIP OF THE DAY

When planning your next Disney World Vacation you will want to make sure that you check out the PARK HOURS for each day of your trip on the Disney World Website . Each day, the different parks may have extra magic hours and special events that MAY affect your visit. You can do this several months in advance, but definitely check again a few days before you leave for vacation and be open & flexible to any changes you may need to make!!!

Usually special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party will be posted inside the park hours. These events are extra ticketed events that cost addtional money to your vacation, and listed around 6 months in advance. If you do not have tickets to one of these parties, you might not want to attend Magic Kingdom during a day that they are offered since guests without tickets to the party because those guests will be asked to start leaving around 6pm and need to be out of the park by 7pm.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party runs from the middle of August through October and Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party runs from November through Christmas Day and both events are offered sometimes 2 or 3 nights a week – so be sure to check!!!

However, the website doesn’t always specifiy what type of event and may just say “Special Event” and close the park early. While we were vacationing in January I did not realize on the last night of our trip, we were supposed to be in Magic Kingdom, they closed the park early at 8pm for a “Special Event”. It could have been anything – maybe a Disney Villains After Hours?! Who knows – but its something good to keep in mind.

Make note!!!! Visiting Walt Disney World at different times of the year will also affect park hours. We noticed during our August Vacation that some night Magic Kingdom was staying open until midnight where in January it was closing around 9pm or 10pm! In January as beautiful as Christmas is, you are missing a lot of daylight.

Extra Magic Hours will also affect your visit. Last August, while we were in Magic Kingdom during night-time Extra Magic Hours, we found it frustrating that they did not allow you to make any Fast Passes at this time and we found the lines to be sort of long! So depending on how long your stay is, you might be able to avoid that and there might be times where you cannot.

It seems that Disney World is forever changing and now with the world’s pandemic who knows what changes are going to be made going forward?! We are just staying positive and optimistic while being safe.

There might be the case where the special events and parties will not be offered for a year or two.

I’ll be here following and listening to let you know as soon as I do!

Here’s to hoping and praying the world is healed soon.

When are you planning your next Walt Disney World Vacation?

Click here for my info on upgrading to WDW Annual Passes!

Disney Cruise Line Wishables – Limited Release

Unboxing Disney Wishables: Cruise Line & Food Series 2

On Easter Sunday I noticed that the Shop Disney Website had listed some of their Disney Cruise Line Wishables as a pick-me-up during our quarantine. I do not think normally Disney Cruise Line Wishables are available on the site, but do not quote me. This ended up being a super fun surprise!

Usually listed at around $10 per package, Disney Wishables are something my kids have enjoyed collecting since last April 2019. If you have an Annual Pass or are a DVC member, you would recieve a 20% discount off. You can use a Disney Gift Card towards any merchandise you may find inside the parks! The Disney Wishables are a more affordable “mystery type package” where you never know which character you are going to get! This type of Disney merchandise is something fun for kids to get inside the parks, and when you sit down for a break – you have a surprise!

Some other Disney Wishable series we have already collected are Splash Mountain, Park Series, Food Series 1, Pirate Series to name a few. We also have a Toy Soldier that we picked up around New Years Eve that we picked up not inside a package. We also have Magic Kingdom Castle that was also not inside a package. Watch below to see the kids talk about our collection!

We have a video here of the kids unboxing their New Shop Disney Cruise Line Wishables and Food Series 2 Wishables – please like and share!

Disney seems to have some series designed for the current season /current holiday of Wishables located throughout the parks – for instance while we were visiting for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party we noticed some Nightmare Before Christmas Wishables.

I also purchased myself a cute Mickey Tank – who couldn’t use a little pick-me-up right now?! I cannot wait to wear it when we return to the parks!

What are some ways you are “doing Disney” during the quarantine?

When is your next Disney World Vacation?

We Upgraded to Disney Annual Passholders! Discount Secrets Revealed….

A fun distraction for some future planning!

This past August 2019, while we were vacationing in the World at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, for our second trip of the year, we were in a pretty good position and decided to upgrade to Annual Passes for all the perks!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge August 2019

It was pretty easy to upgrade, while we were in Magic Kingdom on the first morning of our stay we simply went over to City Hall on Main Street. It was so easy and of course the cast members are always so helpful. As soon as you upgrade you are instantly able to recieve merchandise dicsount of 20% in just about all of Disney World’s Retail Locations. The discount varys on the dining locations depending where you eat, but we always get the Deluxe Dining Plan, so we weren’t worried about using our discount there. You can however, get the discount on any…

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We Upgraded to Disney Annual Passholders! Discount Secrets Revealed….

This past August 2019, while we were vacationing in the World at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, for our second trip of the year, we were in a pretty good position and decided to upgrade to Annual Passes for all the perks!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge August 2019

It was pretty easy to upgrade, while we were in Magic Kingdom on the first morning of our stay we simply went over to City Hall on Main Street. It was so easy and of course the cast members are always so helpful. As soon as you upgrade you are instantly able to recieve merchandise dicsount of 20% in just about all of Disney World’s Retail Locations. The discount varys on the dining locations depending where you eat, but we always get the Deluxe Dining Plan, so we weren’t worried about using our discount there. You can however, get the discount on any snack or type of food at your Disney World Resort Hotel that is Disney OWNED and almost all the locations (if not all) throughout the parks, so if you are buying a soda or snack or even a meal out of pocket you will get a discount!

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So if you are thinking about upgrading during your stay, I do not recommend waiting until the end of your trip because it actually will be activated on the first day of your trip and why miss out on that merchandise discount?!

The next best perk about being an Annual Passholder was the amazing discount that popped up when we were looking to go and arrive on New Year’s Eve and stay for a week. We got a huge discount at the Grand Floridian – it was bigger than what was being offered at Polynesian and Contemporary – and almost all of the resorts were booked up as well. We couldn’t pass up how much cheaper it was to stay at the Grand Floridian than at Polynesian which was our first hotel choice.

I wanted to make sure we arrived before New Year’s Eve so we wouldn’t miss the last Christmas Parade in Magic Kingdom which is on December 31.

So we flew down Monday night, December 30 after my husband worked half a day. We checked in for 2 nights at a Lagoon View and then checked out and checked into the discounted room from Wednesday January 1 and checked out Tuesday January 7. We definitely saved a few thousand dollars. So when booking with an annual pass discount definitely check on the different dates around your time of travel as well as what the different hotels are offering – hopefully you can be flexible!

We had family meet us one night in Disney Springs during our January trip for dinner, and we were even able to apply our APD to our family member’s dinner bill, which was fantastic. *Note, this might not always be the case but you never know where the Disney Magic may arise!* (They were able to park at our hotel and spend some time with us at the resort before we took the bus to Disney Springs – just let the hotel know in advance they are coming. Your company will need to povide some ID and they need your room number.)

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A Disney World Annual Pass also gives you discounts at various hotel spas and salons as well as some entertainment inside of Disney World such as AMC, fishing, the Amphicar Tour at Disney Springs, Miniature Golf, Marina Boat Rentals, Bowling, Horse & Carriage Rides at the Resorts andmore. You can also receive a discount on some of the tours provided inside the parks! There is also a discount for purchasing Tables in Wonderland. I believe that provide a discount when you renew your AP around the time it expires (they might give you a 2 week window after).

Being a Disney World Annual Passholder also gives you a discount on most extra ticketed events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Do your research.

Let’s not forget about Memory Maker! The Memory Maker is included in your Annual Pass purchase. *Even if only 1 member of your family purchases the Annual Pass, you still recieve all the benefits! Memory Maker includes all the photopass photos provided by Disney and the professional photographer photos (located throughout the parks,) those photos are added into your My Disney Experience App. You have access to all your Memory Maker Photos until your Annual Pass expires so you have time to download and store them. So unlike how each time you book a vacation you have to pay an extra fee to purchase Memory Maker, and Annual Pass includes it for every single visit.

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We were hoping to go this July or August but sadly with the current world crisis, we aren’t sure if it will be safe enough to travel with our children and my diabetic husband. So if you were considering a Walt Disney World Annual Passes it might be a great time to save for 2021. I always believe good things are ahead! I hope you’re staying safe and healthy at this time!

When is your next Disney World Vacation?

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Check out last year’s Easter Vacation at Port Orleans by click here!

Check out our Disney World’s Art of Animation Discussion with the Kids here:

Earth Day 2020

Last year during Earth Day 2019 we happened to be in Walt Disney World. My youngest Nicky found this amazing Earth Day Pin inside of Animal Kingdom, which happens to be exclusive.

Mark me if I am wrong but I thought the proceeds went to help the Disney Conservation Fund. For those of you that do not know, Disney’s Conservation Fund is comitted to saving wildlife and nature. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has given $100 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. They are pretty amazing!

Nick purchased this pin in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, outside at a stand – not too far from Tuskar House ( We love the breakfast Buffet at Tuskar House – and it is a character dining buffet, all day, for all 3 meals).

Tuskar House April 2019

The cast member was thrilled with Nick’s purchase and talked about her collection of Earth Day pins.

They were promoting the live-action Lion King movie all the way back in April 2019!

To celebrate Earth Day 2020, we are headed outside this afternoon to draw pictures of our beloved Earth with sidewalk chalk and observe the birds around our yard.

This year, on Earth Day, we are praying extra hard to heal the Earth and heal the people inside it.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

When is your next Disney World Vacation?

Click here to watch us playing outside

Daydreaming of Sunny Days from Easter’s past at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort 2019

Wow… on this day, about a year ago we were checking into Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort for our family Easter 2019 Vacation… who would think just a year later the world would be in such a quandary.  Trying not to worry or think if we will be able to make it back there this coming summer we are remembering last year instead. During these uncertain times, the thought of a semi-normal summer sounds satisfying at this point. So for a minute lets escape to someplace magical and beautiful.

Thinking of last year at Disney for Easter Sunday was simply amazing.  We didn’t plan any park days on Easter Sunday assuming it would be crowded.  So we had reservations for brunch at Disney’s Cape May Buffet at Disney’s Beach Club Resort which was such a delicious breakfast buffet with characters included. The only time there are characters are for breakfast/brunch. Upon arrival we took the bus from our resort to Epcot, where we walked through the countries and then down the path towards the Yacht and Beach Club. The resort grounds are a stunningly luxurious mix of beach and Disney. Beach Club is the epitome of extravagance.  

Characters at the Cape May Buffet were dressed in their adorable beachwear.
The Beach Club lobby has a gorgeous Easter Egg display made by Disney’s own cast members.

The view from each angle outside around the resort grounds screams tropical escape.

After brunch a wonderful surprise was being able to take a picture with Mickey in his Dapper Dan outfit and he truly was dapper!

All the Disney World resorts seem to have a lot going on during Easter Sunday to keep guests entertained and make it a more special day. Epcot holds an egg hunt for anyone that is interested.

After our brunch and exploring the resort grounds we took the Friendship Boat (which is a mode of transportation from Beach & Yacht Club that goes to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios) that brought us to Hollywood Studios and from there we took the bus back to Port Orleans. Epcot is just a short walk from the Yacht and Beach Club.

We spent the afternoon doing some laundry while we had a great time in Port Orleans French Quarter’s pool. The pool is beautiful – it has a great slide for the kids. The slide is some sort of sea creature type dragon with King Triton (from Disney’s Little Mermaid) sitting on top.

After some fun swimming we took the river boat to Disney Springs for dinner. (As my husband and I like to say: Downtown Disney) Our kids love the T-Rex Cafe – and that is something you need to book 180 days out, on that 180th day to get a reservation! It books fast!

Easter 2019 was really fantastic. We had a great time hanging at the resorts and enjoying what was around.

Praying and hoping that the world will heal sooner than later and we can all go back to planning our Disney Trips and whatever else in life brings you joy.

For now, we are enjoying family time at home with each other – cherishing every moment.

Click here to read about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

When are you planning your next Disney vacation?