Disney

On The Road To runDisney – AGAIN

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You may have realized I haven’t posted about runDisney in awhile. That isn’t because I don’t like the races or wanted to stop running. It was the exact opposite. I was signed up to run in the Wine & Dine 10K last year. Then I found out I was pregnant and my due date was the EXACT SAME DAY I was signed up to run in Wine & Dine. So needless to say, I couldn’t run. I contacted Disney immediately and they were amazing and refunded my entire race fee (which is totally not the norm, since it’s a non-refundable race). They wished me good luck with the pregnancy and hoped I’d be back along with the baby at a future runDisney event. The time is now because we are going back to runDisney in 2019!

What Race Am I Running?

I am mixing it up and will be trying a new race. I will be running the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K during the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Since I haven’t run a race since the baby was born and I’m not ready nor do I currently want to run the half marathon, I decided to stay with the 10k. The 10k is on a Saturday along with the kid’s races and that really fits our schedule the best too. Speaking of kids races, our son will be getting into the action too and “running” in the kid’s races. He will be doing the 100-meter dash, I am not sure how much of a dash it will be for him, but I can guarantee cute photos. I am hoping to make this a tradition for our family now that we live closer to Disney World.

How Will I Train?

I have just started training and one of the many wonderful things about running a Disney event is the training courses offered online. Anyone can visit the RunDisney website and download the program, even if you aren’t doing a race! The 10k training program is an 18 week course designed by Olympic athlete Jeff Galloway for Disney. It comes complete with a weekly schedule and guide on how to train for any level runner. I have a little while before I will start this program so for now, I’m just running a few times a week. I hadn’t been running much at all, since the baby and the move, so this has helped motivate me to get back on track so far.

Run Disney World

You can follow along here and on our Instagram page as we get closer to the race. Keep an eye out for more updates and tips for race weekends and maybe a few DIY projects (possible a kids race project) and of course a complete coverage of race weekend come February! Race you to the castle!

I’d love to hear some suggestions for a race day outfit. Below are my previous runDisney posts.

Ready to runDisney?

Contact Dream Makers Travel Agency today to book your vacation and get FREE concierge level planning included with every booking.

RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Provincial Belle Running Costume

Packing for a RunDisney Trip – Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Star Wars RunDisney Outfit

RunDisney World – Star Wars Race

Be Our Guest – Prix Fixe Menu Review

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Be Our Guest Restaurant at Walt Disney World changed from a traditional menu to a Signature Dining 3-course Prix Fixe menu on July 27, 2018. We went to check out the new menu and eat in Beast’s Castle on the second day the menu was available. The current price (more…)

Using FastPass+ at Walt Disney World

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FastPass+ allows Walt Disney World resort guests to reserve “Fast Passes” for select Disney park attractions up to 60 days in advance of their check-in date and non-resort guests 30 days in advance of their arrival date. FastPass+ is basically a reservation to get in a shorter line for that attraction during a specific time window. This can shorten your wait time drastically or guarantee you access to a show if used correctly. It’s also completely free and included in park admission for EVERY (more…)

Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios

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Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land is a cute new Toy Story themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It opened on June 30th, 2018 and we had the pleasure to visit it on July 4th less than a week after its opening. As you enter the land you are supposed to be walking into Andy’s backyard and become the size of one of his toys. It’s a pretty small Land. I don’t think I really felt the size of a toy, and my husband had no idea what the theme was besides just bright colors and toys. He loved that he had most of the toys they featured growing up (more…)

A Quick Guide to Walt Disney World Planning

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The days of just showing up to Disney buying a ticket and walking through the gates are long gone. If you’ve never been to Disney World before you may not realize the amount of planning people put into their vacations to the magical land of Disney. You can book vacation packages 499 days in advance, dining reservations 180 days in advance and fast passes up to 60 days in advance (if you’re staying onsite), not to mention there are more websites than Ican count telling people where to stay, what to eat, which rides to go on, crowd calendars, reservations finders, itineraries you name it! Disney can be very overwhelming, but it does not have to be. If you have no idea what I’m talking about or want a simple guide on how to plan for Disney World this VERY quick guide to Walt Disney World perfect place to start. Then check out our other Disney articles for Disney World Updates and more in-depth planning advice!

 Decide When You Want to go to Disney World

The time of year you travel will impact the cost of the resort rate, airfare, ticket prices and sometimes even restaurant prices.

Disney rarely ever has low crowds just less busy times and you can usually tell when those are going to be based on ticket prices for a day ticket. Try to go when a one day ticket is at a non-peak rate for less busy parks, but don’t expect low crowds. Historically the week after Thanksgiving, early December, January, February and late September avoiding holidays are “less busy” according to current crowd calendars. That could change tomorrow so take it with a grain of salt. Basically, if schools are out, the parks will be busier.

Disney World tries to announce refurbishments in advance so plan accordingly to what will be open during your vacation. Last minute changes happen along with unscheduled closures, so also plan to be flexible (very rarely but it happens). Click here to see if any of your most important attractions will be closed during the dates for vacation.

Set a Resort Budget

How much do you want to spend on a resort? Disney has 3 price categories for their resorts, value, moderate and deluxe. The differences between these categories go beyond location and if there’s a restaurant in the resort. There is a difference in the pillows, beds and square footage, pools, size, layout etc.

If you have more than 6 people, you will need a deluxe resort bedroom villa unless you plan on staying in multiple value or moderate rooms. Want to stay on the monorail or have direct park access? You will need to stay in a deluxe resort. If you need more space or a better, quality bed, a value resort is not the place for you. Maybe you don’t have the budget for deluxe and moderate is your happy medium or maybe you don’t care about the resort at all and want to budget as much as possible and value fits the bill!

Choose a Resort

After you’ve picked the resort category that fits your needs, you need to decide on which hotel! Yes, that was just deciding a resort category. Each resort has its own theme.

When choosing a Value resort, it’s easy to choose the resort with the least experience price. There are theme differences and a few offer family suites and some were recently redone which may help you decide if the cheapest price doesn’t sway you.

For Moderates, I prefer either of the Port Orleans Resort. This is simply personal preference, but Port Orleans are both MUCH smaller than the other moderate resorts so that is always my first pick. Simply size of the resort and theming are a priority for me. Also, Port Orleans has ferries to Disney Springs which makes it slightly more appealing as well.

Deluxe is a different story. Grand Floridian, The Polynesian, and The Contemporary resorts are on the monorail. If you stay at the Contemporary, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom. Animal Kingdom Lodge is nice and quiet and offers animal views. If you stay at Boardwalk or Beach/Yacht Club you can walk or ferry to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. At Wilderness Lodge, you can ferry to Magic Kingdom. Some of the deluxe resorts offer villas with kitchens and multiple bedrooms. They all have amazing pools, amazing restaurants, offer tons of activities, and are top of the line resorts. Choosing a Deluxe resort is purely a personal preference.

Do you want a Dining Plan?

This is a million-dollar question when booking a Disney vacation. A dining plan can cost a lot of money, that may or may not be money well spent.

Since we do mostly quick service, signature lounges, and snack for meals and usually only do a table service one or two days out of our vacation, the dining plans are usually not cost effective for us. We also don’t eat enough for the quick service plan to be worth it. When our son is a teenager this might be a different story though!

If you have big eaters, want your vacation to feel all-inclusive, want to do lots of character or signature meals or simply want to prepay for your meals (remember you will still be paying tips) then the dining plan might be a good choice.


How Many Days To Visit the Parks

Now we get into the nitty gritty fun part. How many days do you want to go to the theme parks? I suggest (and for first timers especially people choose to have the first and last day as travel days). Go to Disney Springs, swim at your resort, go resort hopping along the monorail etc. If you’re planning at 7-night vacation 5 days in the parks should allow you to do and see most things and get some downtime to relax at your resort.

If you are using Disney’s Magical Express (Disney free transportation to and from the airport only for resort guests) you will leave your resort at least 3 hours before your flight. Keep that 3-hour window in mind when booking your flights and choosing park days. Yes, that means if you are leaving on 6:00 am flight you will be leaving your resort at 3:00 am or even earlier. It also means doing a park on your departure day isn’t really cost effective unless you have a night flight.

 My Disney Experience

Sign up for a My Disney Experience “MDE” account. Then download the app to your phone and play around with the website. Once you have a vacation booked you will use this site/app to select your MagicBand colors, reserve dining, select FastPass+ attractions, get park hours, see park maps, and just about anything you will need for your vacation.


Select Dining

180 days from your check-in day you can start to reserve dining at 6:00 am eastern on the website or 7:00 am eastern by phone. The most popular restaurants will book up 180 days out or even earlier because if you stay onsite you can book for your entire vacation at one time on the 180th day from check-in (for up to 10 days at a time). So, if someone is checking in three days before you they actually can book earlier than you can. If you are staying offsite you will not be able to book your dining all at once and will need to book your dining reservations 180 days from the day you will be dining at the restaurant. If you have a Travel Agent they should be able to help you out with this!

 FastPass+

If you stay onsite 60 days from your check-in date you can reserve your FastPass+ attractions. What is a FastPass? It’s a reserved time for you to enter a special faster queue line for select attractions. Depending on the park some of the attractions have a tiered system where you can only pick one from that list and need to pick your rest from another list. Look this all up and have a game plan before you go to reserve them. If you have a Travel Agent they should be able to help you out with this!

What are attractions should you FastPass+? It’s a personal preference, but typically the most popular are roller coasters/big thrill rides, new rides, character meet & greets, and nighttime shows. The new rides in Toy Story Land, Flight of Passage in Pandora and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom are typically the hardest fast passes to get. Try for those first if you want to ride them. Peter Pan’s Flight is also high up on the list for some reason. It’s not a thrill or new ride, but VERY popular.


Additional Things to Think About

Disney offers an unlimited digital photo package called Memory Maker. Before you pack, look at the weather. Allocate money for tips for dining, bell services, bus drivers, travel to the airport, etc.. You may want to bring a portable cell charger, rain jacket, backpack, water bottle, stroller, baby carrier or other things to make your life easier in the park. If you are a US military veteran and/or active duty, Disney has discounted rooms and tickets at amazing good rates.

For Disney World Resort packages, your final payment is due 30 days from check-in. If you change your mind about something or need to cancel your trip altogether, you can make changes until that date.

Ready to Start Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation?

Contact Dream Makers Travel Agency today to book your vacation and get FREE concierge level planning included with every booking.

Using a Baby Carrier at Disney World

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We just took our son for his first visit at Disney World. We tried using a stroller and using a baby carrier and there were pros and cons to both. Here are my thoughts on using a carrier or babywearing at Disney World and why it might be a good idea for your family.

Why Use a Carrier

Many people love and prefer to babywear at Disney World. A carrier gives you the freedom to have your hands free, not need to park or fold up your stroller, not leave it unattended, and baby is always safely attached to you! It is super easy to walk around (more…)

The Edison at Disney Springs

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Light up the night! Disney Springs new bar and restaurant The Edison has opened its doors.

The Edison at Disney Springs

Themed as a 1920s electric company serving craft cocktails and American food this new hot spot is a mix of steampunk and elegance. They have unique acts like contortionists, aerialists, live cabaret, DJs and more. I expect it to join the list of adult favorites at Disney World. (more…)

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