Category Archives: travel
Every time you visit Walt Disney World and decide to stay on property at one of their resort hotels, the mouse and company will offer you a brand new MagicBand. This wrist strap has technology inside it which identifies you and allows you to enter your room, enter the parks, and take advantage of your FastPass reservations. Some people visit the parks enough that they have a bunch of these things just lying around the house. Should you refuse a new MagicBand and just carry along your favorite? Join me as I unbox my newest band and talk about why having more than one might be ideal.
This past weekend Disney held their D23 Expo, a fan biennial event which Disney uses to make make announcements and promote upcoming products. It’s kind of like the company’s own private Comic-Con. The last couple of events have been light on Disney World news, but the 2017 expo was packed with goodies for fans of the Orlando resort.
If you have been following Disney World rumors, none of these announcements were all that surprising. We’ve been talking about Star Wars for years now and last year we were buzzing about a Guardians of the Galaxy project and a replacement for the Great Movie Ride. But the Expo provided additional details as well as confirmation that these things are happening.
Let’s take a closer look at all of this year’s announcements.
Up to this point, we faced some challenges during our Orlando getaway. After a long drought, central Florida was getting such much-needed rain. Unfortunately for us, we arrived just in time for daily thunderstorms. My youngest daughter’s ankle was on the mend which limited her mobility and our oldest wasn’t going to be able to partake in any pool-related activities. We were just past the half-way point on our trip and we had weathered the storms reasonably well. So of course when I woke up on the morning of the fourth day of our vacation, I had a sore throat.
Can it possibly have been four years since the summer of multiple Busch Gardens visits which I shared through blog posts here? Well, it doesn’t seem like it, but that’s how long it’s been. A week ago my family and I decided to take my nephew on his first trip to the theme park I grew up with and this time I was able to squeeze in a little bit of vlogging in the process. This certainly isn’t a complete tour of the place, but it should give any viewers who aren’t familiar with the park an idea of what the place is like. Come along for the ride, won’t you?
Our first two days at Universal Orlando were cut short due to rain and thunderstorms. We still had three days left to tour the parks, but the weather forecast continued to be gloomy. The girls really wanted to spend some time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter trying out their new wands. But that was difficult during the busy afternoon hours and the evening was likely to be rained out. So I set out to get an early start on our third day to take advantage of the early admission perk offered to guests at Loews Royal Pacific.
Today was the first full day of our vacation at Universal Orlando (Read about Day One here.). One of my goals for this trip was to slow down and take it easy. Usually on a Disney World vacation, we are racing around in an effort to get the most out of our time there. But Universal is small enough that we should be able to get our fill in six days without driving ourselves crazy. Especially since we were staying on property at Loews Royal Pacific which is both conveniently located and includes free Express Pass. There was no reason for us to rush. The question was, could I slow myself down?
My family and I have recently returned from our latest theme park vacation. When the kids were little, we made regular visits to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Following our last trip in 2014, we decided it was time for us to explore some other options. The following year, prior to embarking on our first family cruise (with Disney of course), we spent a day at Universal Studios. This year, we settled on an extended visit at Universal Orlando. I’ll tell you all about it after the jump.
Well, here we are at the end of my Spring Break journey to Walt Disney World. While each of my previous videos has been just a portion of one of my vacation days, today’s final video will cover pretty much all of my park activities from my last day in the parks. Since my flight back home was set for late afternoon that day, I would have only from rope drop until around lunchtime to squeeze just a little more enjoyment out of my visit. That manifested itself in one more chance at favorite attractions like the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and the PeopleMover, last-minute opportunities at experiencing things I hadn’t yet on this trip, and trying a long-delayed food item that I’ve seen plenty of love for elsewhere. Unfortunately, it also meant dealing with a potentially inconvenient event that struck very early on. Come along and experience my eventful last day at the Magic Kingdom!
Don’t let my initial peevishness this time around make you think I’m not having a great time. In fact, few things in life fill me with greater satisfaction than being a critical know-it-all. So sit back and watch me indulge in one of my very favorite activities…and then watch me hang out at Walt Disney World!
With my last full day in the parks in front of me, I intend to take full advantage of the resources available to me, including the early morning extra magic hours at the Magic Kingdom. My misunderstanding of how the new morning entry protocol works yet again puts me there a little on the early side – and with an empty stomach. Oops. But, of course, once the morning gets rolling all of that gets left behind in great theme park fun!
After another afternoon nap, I return to World Showcase in Epcot for my scheduled dinner at Teppan Edo. Come join in as I wander around the Japan pavilion, see some of its “cute” culture, then notice a toy I can’t remember seeing since I was pretty young. Will you be able to sing along with me? After dinner I watch the fireworks and run across a curious bit of detritus. And of course it will then be time for another installment of Pillow Talk with Daffy Stardust!
Last week, I reviewed a very long list of rides, shows, attractions and other experiences which would be new to my family on our up-coming Universal Orlando vacation. I borrowed the concept from my old pal and blogging idol, Daffy Stardust, who posts similar articles prior to an excursion to Disney World. His articles usually cover first, last and first-time-in-a-long-time experiences. But as relative novies to Universal, our list of new-to-us experiences was long enough to fill an entire article unto itself. So today, I am back to cover the other two categories.