Danielle’s Tips and Tricks

Pickle Corn Dog – Disneyland

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Read Time:2 Minute, 26 Second

The Controversial Pickle Corn Dog at Disneyland is a Surprisingly Delicious Treat!

As a company, Disney is known for outlandish, sometimes controversial, snacks, and this one is no exception. At Disneyland Resort, guests can head into Downtown Disney for the controversial Pickle Corn Dog! At the core is a hot dog, then a crunchy dill pickle. Next, it is dipped into a cornbread batter and deep fried, before being rolled in panko breadcrumbs.

THEN it is served with a bag of chips and a side of creamy peanut butter for dipping. People either love it, or they are absolutely repulsed by it. There seems to be no middle ground! Have you tried it? WOULD you try it?

Where to Find this Culinary Sorcery

pickle corn dog at disneyland
Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs

This specialty snack is not available everywhere. To find it, you’ll need to head over to Downtown Disney, to Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs. This snack stand is located between the Lego Store and Tortilla Jo’s. And they offer a bunch of corn dog options, in addition to the gigantic pickle corn dog!

But Really? A Pickle?

First observation, they are made fresh. You can actually watch them go through the entire process of hot dog to pickle to dipping to frying to panko. So this is definitely a one-of-a-kind Disney treat! Because of this, you may end up waiting a bit before you get your order. I ordered my nachos at Tortilla Jo’s AND finished eating them before the husband even got his order. So if you’re planning on everyone grabbing something in Downtown Disney and meeting up to eat together, I would recommend the person or people eating this head there immediately!

Second observation, it is HUGE. Therefore, it is messy, so make sure you grab a ton of napkins! It definitely will fill you up for a meal. The pickle is a slightly spicy crunch that should not work, but husband said it definitely did. His suggestion is to make sure you wait a bit before biting into it, or else you’re going to torch your mouth. And the peanut butter dipping sauce didn’t seem like it was a match, but it was a tastebud’s delight!

Food Allergies
pickle corn dog at disneyland

Unfortunately, this is not an item for people with food allergies. For this reason, the husband tried this while I went and got gluten free options from Tortilla Jo’s! There is not a dedicated fryer, the peanut butter makes peanut allergies at high risk, and the “corn” batter at Disneyland is more wheat than corn. Not to mention the buttermilk. To learn more about food allergy dining, visit this guide.

Are you ready to head out to California and visit Disneyland Resort? I’m ready to help you plan an amazing vacation to Walt’s Park! Contact me today!

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Snacks of the Magic Kingdom

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Read Time:4 Minute, 0 Second

Let’s Look at the BEST Snacks of the Magic Kingdom, Including Options for Food Allergies!

Snacks of the Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Castle

Food is a big part of vacation, and that includes SNACKS! Disney has some of the best snacks in the travel world, and some of them have incredible cult followings. Let’s take a deep dive into the best snacks of the Magic Kingdom! And, as I am someone that lives with food allergies, I have included many food allergy options!

More information for YOUR Disney Destination Vacation HERE!

10. Popcorn – DAIRY FREE/GLUTEN FREE

Snacks of the Magic Kingdom

While popcorn is not necessarily a gourmet treat (though that is certainly an option at places like The Confectionary or Kat Saka’s Kettle), might be the most AFFORDABLE snack in the whole of Walt Disney World. You can buy the basic bucket for $13, then you can refill it every time you want more for $2.25. Popcorn is all over the place, and it is gluten free AND dairy free. The “butter” flavoring comes from canola. Of course, you should always check the ingredients binder to confirm, as suppliers these days are constantly changing.

9. Mickey Ice Cream Bar – GLUTEN FREE/PEANUT FREE

Snacks of the Magic Kingdom

Everything tastes better when it’s Mickey-shaped, and you cannot go wrong with this iconic snack! Mickey Ice Cream Bars are gluten free and peanut free! These vanilla bars with a thick chocolate shell are delicious treats, but you’d better eat it quickly on a super hot Florida day, or else you may end up wearing it!

8. Cheshire Cat Tail – Cheshire Cafe, Fantasyland

We're All Mad Here!
Curiouser and Curiouser!

This delicious pastry is a great way to start your day, or for a snack at any time! This twisted pastry is stuffed with chocolate chips and smothered in pink and purple stripes, resembling MY favorite Disney Cat!

7. Mickey Pretzel – DAIRY FREE/PEANUT FREE

Snacks of the Magic Kingdom

Yes, Mickey Pretzels are dairy free, just don’t eat the cheese! And peanut free, too! Again, you’ll want to verify in the ingredients binder, but I think you should be good to go! The best part of these Mickey pretzels is that they’re HUGE, so you can either share them, or consider them a light lunch!

6. Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots – The Friar’s Nook, Fantasyland – GLUTEN FREE

Loaded Buffalo Chicken Tots

Listen, man, this is just a tasty dish! Buffalo Chicken? On tater tots? LOADED? Yes, please. And they are TECHNICALLY gluten free, but if cross contamination is an issue, this might not be for you. In the past, there has been a dedicated fryer, but you may want to check with a chef or cast member to verify!

5. Warm Cinnamon Roll – Gaston’s Tavern, Fantasyland

Warm Cinnamon Roll
I’m roughly the size of a barge

In true Gaston Fashion, this is a MASSIVE cinnamon roll! Perfect for breakfast! Wash it down with a LeFou’s Brew, too!

4. Cheeseburger Spring Rolls – Spring Roll Cart, Adventureland

Cheeseburger Spring Rolls

Cheeseburger Spring Rolls are one of the unique treats at Walt Disney World that you simply MUST try. Truly one of the best snacks of the Magic Kingdom!

3. Dole Whip – Aloha Isle, Adventureland (and a whole bunch of other places and flavors) – VEGAN/GLUTEN FREE/DAIRY FREE/PEANUT FREE

Snacks of the Magic Kingdom
Whip It GOOD!

Few treats are as well known as a Dole Whip at Disney, and they now come in a multitude of flavors and a ton of locations around Disney World. BUT the ORIGINAL is located at the Aloha Isle: Pineapple Dole Whip. The best part of the Dole Whip is that almost everyone can safely eat them! They are Vegan, gluten free, peanut free, and MOST flavors are dairy free. The coconut and vanilla flavors are not, but the other flavors are, indeed, dairy free. Again, check the ingredients binders to be sure, but this is a food allergy diners miracle!

2. Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich – Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square

PHOTO: Jessica B at Love the Mouse Travel

The Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow is easily the NEW most popular snack. A HUGE waffle, absolutely smothered in nutella, and topped with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. It’s not MY number one, obviously, because I cannot eat it. There are no allergy accommodations at Sleepy Hollow, so you may want to just keep walking.

1. I Lava You Float – Sunshine Tree Terrace, Adventureland – GLUTEN FREE/DAIRY FREE/PEANUT FREE

I Lava You Float - THE BEST SNACK OF THE MAGIC KINGDOM!

By and large, the BEST snack in the entirety of the Magic Kingdom is the I Lava You Float. No, really, hear me out. Orange Dole Whip, Strawberry Fanta, Passion Fruit Syrup, and topped off with Pop Rocks. It is so tasty and so refreshing. You will not be disappointed! AND, since it’s Dole Whip, it is Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and peanut free.

Did your favorite snack of the Magic Kingdom make the list?! Let me know! If you’re ready to take your trip, contact me for your FREE vacation quote!

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Breakfast at Topolino’s

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Read Time:2 Minute, 55 Second

Why Breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace is a MUST!

Breakfast at Topolino's

At this point, it’s fairly obvious that I’m just here for the food! Here is my review of Breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace, the absolute BEST breakfast at Walt Disney World. Amazing restaurant? CHECK. GREAT food? CHECK. Adorable character interactions? CHECK! Take a closer look!

Location

Disney's Riviera
Disney’s Riviera Resort – Topolino’s Terrace

Topolino’s Terrace is located on the top floor of the brand new Disney’s Riviera Resort. And for an added bonus, the Riviera is a Skyliner hotel, so it’s that much easier to get there! Be sure to take the time to walk around and look at the details. DON’T MISS THE VIEW FROM THE TERRACE! It’s incredible!

Theming and Setting

Breakfast at Topolino's

Topolino’s Terrace is inspired by “cliffside restaurants of the Riviera,” and the cuisine features regional favorites. The name Topolino means Mickey Mouse in Italian. There’s your fun fact for the day! Breakfast at Topolino’s is a prix fixe character meal, while dinner (which I will not talk about in THIS post) is a much more expensive Signature Dining event!

The Menu and Pricing

Breakfast at Topolino's
Breads and Pastries

The amazing starts at the very beginning, with this incredible breads and pastries basket. Including an allergy-friendly pastry option!

Breakfast at Topolino's - allergy pastries
Gluten-Free Breakfast Pastries
Then it’s on to the main course!!
  • Mickey Waffle Dippers – Mickey and Minnie waffles in an artist’s palette, with various dipping syrups. This is part of the Kid’s Menu, but they WILL, in fact, make it adult-sized if you want it (or have a picky tween or teen!)!
  • Quiche Gruyere – Mini-quiche with house-made pancetta, gruyere, roasted potatoes, and field greens with lemon vinaigrette
  • Smoked Salmon – Everything bagel, smoked salmon, tomato, red onion, cream cheese, and capers. This was a MASSIVE plate!
  • Gluten-Free Wood-Fired Butchers Steak – Polenta, Pomodoraccio Tomatoes, Roasted Onions, Wild Mushroom Conserva, Watercress, topped with a cooked-to-order steak. The polenta is the most INCREDIBLE polenta I have ever had.
Beverages, Mocktails, and Cocktails
Cocktails and Coffee

As it is the Flavors of the Riviera, including my Italian homeland, the coffee selection is chef’s kiss! Press Pot Riviera Resort Blend (from Joffrey’s), Macchiato, Cafe Mocha, Double Espresso, Cafe Latte, and Capuccino.

Additionally, soft drinks, juice, water, and tea are available, as well as Mocktails, like Riviera Spicy Bloody Mary (n/a), and cocktails, including classic mimosa, classic bellini, and Riviera Bloody Mary.

As breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace is prix fixe, the meal is $42 for adults and $27 for children 3-9, regardless of how much or how little you choose to eat. You get the bread course and an entree.

Characters

You will get Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, all dolled up in their artists’ best! In fact, meet Painter Mickey, Poet Minnie, Sculptor Donald, and Ballerina Daisy. They are just as adorable as you think they’re going to be. A top-notch character interaction. And with the characters out of the way during breakfast, you can now enjoy your day without character lines in the parks! (Theoretically, of course.)

My Review

I consider this the best breakfast on property. Great price, great food with good portions, beautiful setting, and amazing characters. This is solidly in our must-do list of reservations now, and we try to go at least once every trip! Have you eaten here yet?!

Ready to take your trip?! Contact me today!

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Disney Gift Cards

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Read Time:2 Minute, 4 Second

Everything There Is To Know About Disney Gift Cards!

disney gift cards

The number one thing I am asked as a Travel Agent is “how can I save money on my vacation?” For Disney Destinations, that answer is easy: Disney Gift Cards! Most people have absolutely no idea how much power comes in this little plastic card.

Where Can I Buy Disney Gift Cards?

grocery store gift cards
Grocery Store Gift Card Rack

It used to be, way back in the day, the only place you could get a specific gift card was at that store, but those days are long gone. It’s entirely likely that you have Disney Gift Cards at your local grocery store, drug store, gas station, and more! You can purchase them in any amount (generally up to $500 per card) and be on your way.

You can also purchase them at some locations at a discounted price. Stores like Sam’s Club, Costco (don’t buy their vacation packages, trust me), BJs, and Target, for example, offer discounts on their gift cards. For example, with the Target RedCard, you can get 5% off gift cards, so you could get a $500 card for for $475, saving you $50 per $1,000 your buy. Let’s say you need $5,000 to pay for your vacation. That’s a savings of $250! Depending on how many are in your party, that’s a table service meal!

And finally, many grocery stores offer fuel perks when you purchase gift cards. I think EVERYONE can stand to save some money on gas these days!

Where Can I Use Disney Gift Cards? What Can I Buy With Them?

Disney Gift Cards

Ready for the BEST news? Disney Gift Cards can be used for almost EVERYTHING. Need to pay for your cruise? DONE. Need to pay your bill at Aulani? NO PROBLEM. It’s true! You can pay for all your Disney Destination vacations, including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Aulani, even Disney on Broadway!

My best advice is to plan your attack, and maybe even double your investment! Get some that come with discounts, saving money that way, and then get your fuel perks and save money on gas. The more you save outside of your vacation, the more you have to spend ON your vacation! And have all your family members get gift cards for the kids, and they will have their own spending money!

Learn more about Disney Destinations!

Need more money-saving tips? I’ve got you covered!

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Whip It Good!

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Read Time:5 Minute, 18 Second

Celebrate Dole Whip Day on July 21, 2022, All Across Disney Destinations! Let’s Whip It Good!

Dole Whip Day

Nearly every person that goes to Disney wants to get at least one Dole Whip! Disney will be celebrating the first-ever (??) Dole Whip Day on July 21, 2022. And beyond that, it will continue to be celebrated on the 3rd Thursday in July. As you might expect, there will be some special edition treats available, so let’s take a closer look!!

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom – Aloha Isle

Dole Whip Day

At the Magic Kingdom, the first place you think about when you want a Dole Whip is the Aloha Isle, located in Adventureland next to the Enchanted Tiki Room.

  • Pineapple Float: DOLE pineapple juice served with a choice of DOLE Whip, vanilla soft-serve, or swirl (available with Tiki Sipper for additional cost)  
  • Raspberry Swirl Float: DOLE Whip and raspberry swirl served with DOLE pineapple juice
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake served with choice of DOLE Whip, vanilla soft-serve, or swirl
  • DOLE Whip Cup: Choice of DOLE Whip, vanilla soft-serve, or swirl
  • Coconut Cup: Choice of coconut or coconut and DOLE Whip swirl
  • Raspberry Swirl Cup: DOLE Whip and raspberry swirl

Magic Kingdom – Storybook Treats

Dole Whip Day

Next, we head to Fantasyland and to Storybook Treats.

  • Soft-serve Cup: DOLE Whip lime, chocolate, or vanilla soft-serve, or swirl in a cup
  • Snow White Cone: DOLE Whip lemon in a blue cone garnished with a chocolate bird and sugar bow

Magic Kingdom – Sunshine Tree Terrace

Orange Bird Sipper
Sunshine Tree Terrace – Home of the Orange Bird

Right next to Club 33 inside the Adventureland Bridge, you’ll find the Sunshine Tree Terrace, home of my buddy, the Orange Bird!

  • DOLE Whip Orange Cup
  • Orange Cream Soft-serve Cup: DOLE Whip orange and vanilla soft-serve swirl
  • DOLE Whip Strawberry Cup
  • DOLE Whip Float: DOLE Whip or vanilla soft-serve with your choice of Coca-Cola, Barq’s Root Beer, Diet Coke, Fanta Orange, Fanta Strawberry, POWERADE Mountain Berry Blast, or Sprite
  • I Lava You Float: Fanta Strawberry Soda and passion fruit flavor served with DOLE Whip orange and topped with popping candy

Animal Kingdom – Tamu Tamu

Tamu Tamu - Animal Kingdom
  • Scar’s Lair: DOLE Whip and sour apple
  • Lion’s Lair: DOLE Whip topped with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum and sour apple
  • Simba Sunset: DOLE Whip with strawberry  
  • King’s Cooler: DOLE Whip with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum and strawberry
  • DOLE Whip Float: DOLE Whip with DOLE pineapple juice (available with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum)
  • DOLE Whip Cup (available with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum)

Animal Kingdom – Trilobites

Trilo-Bites Twist: DOLE Whip orange with vanilla soft-serve.

EPCOT – Refreshment Outpost

Available for the duration of the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, DOLE Whip: Watermelon, pineapple, or swirl!

Disney Springs – Swirls on the Water

swirls on the water

Over at Disney Springs, head to Swirls on the Water, where you can not only get the Dole Whip Nachos and Watermelon Dole Whip “taco,” but you can also enjoy these super tasty treats!

  • Peach Bellini Float: Peach Bellini topped with DOLE Whip orange (New)
  • Orange Bird Cone: DOLE Whip orange atop an orange cone with sprinkles
  • DOLE Whip Flight: DOLE Whip orange swirled with DOLE Whip watermelon, DOLE Whip lemon swirled with blue butter cookie soft-serve, and DOLE Whip and Vanilla soft-serve swirl

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Photo: Disney - Dole Whip Cupcake

Head to the Contempo Café from July 21 through August 20 (Mobile Order available) to try the DOLE Whip Cupcake: Yellow cupcake filled with DOLE Whip mousse and garnished with a cherry!

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Key Lime Dole Whip - Old Key West

Photo: Disney
Photo: Disney

Over at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, head over to Goods To Go for these Dole Whip treats. And yes, mobile ordering is available!!

  • Key Lime Swirl: DOLE Whip lime and vanilla soft-serve swirl topped with graham cracker crumbs
  • DOLE Whip Key Lime Martini: DOLE Whip lime served with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum and garnished with a lime (New) (available July 21 through 24)

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Pineapple Lanai - Disney's Polynesian Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is basically the home of boozy, delicious Dole Whip options, and no one will judge you at all for just eating every single one available to you! First, you’ll want to head to the Pineapple Lanai!

  • “Tamatoa-inspired” Dipped Cone: DOLE Whip raspberry swirled with DOLE Whip orange in a white chocolate-dipped waffle cone and coated with “shiny” gold sugar (available July 21 through 24)
  • 50th Celebration DOLE Whip: Your choice of DOLE Whip with a 50th white chocolate medallion, umbrella, and EARidescent glitter
  • Pineapple Float: DOLE pineapple juice served with a choice of DOLE Whip, vanilla soft-serve, or swirl
  • DOLE Whip with Rum Floater: DOLE Whip with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
Photo: Disney

Barefoot Pool Bar and Oasis Pool Bar

  • Frozen Margarita with DOLE Whip Lime: Corazón Blanco Tequila blended with DOLE Whip lime and chili-lime seasoning
  • Frosty Pineapple: DOLE Whip with Captain Morgan Private Stock Rum

Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

  • Spikey Pineapple: Barbancourt Pango Rum blended with DOLE Whip

Looking for even more ice cream at Walt Disney World? I’ve got you covered!!

Disneyland Resort

dole whip day

Disneyland Park – The Tropical Hideaway

Tucked in next to the World Famous Enchanted Tiki Room, the Tropical Hideaway is the West Coast home of the Dole Whip!

  • DOLE Whip or DOLE Whip Float: DOLE pineapple juice topped with DOLE Whip
  • DOLE Whip Swirl Float: DOLE pineapple juice topped with choice of two different DOLE Whip flavors: mango, watermelon, or pineapple
  • DOLE Whip Swirl: Swirl any flavors: mango, watermelon, or pineapple

Disneyland Hotel – Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill 

Tangaroa Terrace Dole Whip
Photo: Disney
  • DOLE Whip
  • DOLE Whip Float: DOLE pineapple juice topped with DOLE Whip (available with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum)

Dole Whip Day at Other Disney Destinations

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

Dole Whip Day at Aulani
Photo: Disney

Little ‘Opihi’s

  • DOLE Whip pineapple, mango, watermelon, and vanilla soft-serve
  • DOLE Whip Fresh Fruit Sundae with sprinkles in a waffle bowl topped with fresh pineapple (Moana-themed) or watermelon fruit (Stitch-themed)
  • Mickey and Minnie Waffle Bowl featuring DOLE Whip with sprinkles

Ulu Cafe

  • Churro Pineapple DOLE Whip with Li Hing fresh pineapple (New) (available July 19 through 21)
  • DOLE Whip (available with vanilla soft-serve swirl)

Disney Cruise Line

Photo Disney

Indulge in DOLE Whip at the following locations across the Disney Cruise Line fleet:

  • Frozone on the Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy
  • Sulley’s Sips on the Disney Wonder
  • Wheezy’s Freezies on the Disney Wish

Ready to take your Disney Destinations vacation!?!??!?!?!? Contact me today!

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Disney Dream in October

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Read Time:3 Minute, 25 Second

Set Sail on the Disney Dream in October, for a Halloween on the High Seas Western Caribbean Cruise!

Fall break has gotten extremely crowded lately at Walt Disney World, so why not take a cruise instead? This Halloween on the High Seas Cruise aboard the Disney Dream in October is just what you’ll need to relax in pure Disney style!

What’s Included on a Disney Cruise?

Disney Dream in October

Disney Cruise Line is as close to all-inclusive as you will ever get in a cruise! All of your meals are included, between snacks, quick service, table service, and 24-hour room service. There are adult-exclusive restaurants that cost extra, and, of course, alcohol costs extra, but you do not HAVE to pay for food the entire time you’re sailing on Disney Cruise Line. This includes unlimited coffee, tea, and soda, and unlimited soft-serve ice cream.

Disney Cruise Line also has world-class entertainment, all included in the price of the cruise. This includes the world’s only cruise line to offer fireworks at sea! You also have Broadway-caliber shows available, as well as first-run Disney movies and tv shows. The cruise ships have multiple pools, water slides, splash pads, and adult-exclusive pools as part of your fare, too. There is no shortage of FREE activities to keep you and your family entertained while on the ship.

Disney Cruise Line Kids’ Clubs
Disney Dream in October

Kids have the most AWESOME spaces on the Disney ships! For kids 3-12, they will enjoy the Oceaneer Club, where they can do everything from flying the Millennium Falcon, reading books in Belle’s Library, design and test rollercoaster designs, and so much more! Kids 11-14 will enjoy time in Edge, with tween spaces for activities like video games and karaoke, as well as meeting new friends! And teens 14-17 will have a blast in the teen space known as Vibe!

Adult-Exclusive Spaces

Adults can relax and unwind in their own pool and spa area, though some spa activities do cost extra. There are also Nightclubs, Lounges, and Bars.

Disney’s Castaway Cay
Disney Dream in October - Castaway Cay
Photo: Love the Mouse Travel

Located in the Bahamas, Disney’s Castaway Cay is Disney’s Private Island, and is also included in the price of your sailing. Caribbean and Bermudan cruises usually include at least one stop at Castway Cay. Your cruise fare includes both the family and adult beaches, the waterslides & splash zones, towels, chairs, and beach umbrellas, barbecue lunch, unlimited coffee, tea, and soda, unlimited soft-serve ice cream, and all the entertainment, including characters and kids clubs.

Sailing on the 5-Night Halloween on the High Seas Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Dream in October!

Disney Dream in October

This cruise will have the best of Disney Cruise Line PLUS Halloween! First, get to know the Disney Dream!

Itinerary

This particular cruise is set to depart the Port of Miami, aboard the Disney Dream in October! October 10-15, 2022. The first stop will be at Castaway Cay, where you can relax on the beach in Disney paradise! Then you will enjoy a day at sea, a day in Cozumel, Mexico, followed by another day at sea, before returning to the Port of Miami. One of the days at sea will be Halloween on the High Seas, a Disney Halloween Party!

Halloween on the High Seas

Halloween on the High Seas
Photo: Disney

There is plenty of not-so-scary fun to be had on these Halloween-themed cruises, including spooky entertainment and even enchanted trees! Dress up in your Halloween best and join Mickey’s Mouse-querade! Shiver in delight during a scare-a-bration with some of your favorite Disney Pals bedecked in their Halloween finest! Join in Halloween crafts and activities for the whole family, or head out for some adult-exclusive spooky activities, and even meet your favorite Disney characters in their Halloween costumes!

Disney Dream in October

Photo: Disney

And this year, you can even meet Clarabelle, Minnie, and Daisy dressed up as everyone’s favorite witches, the Sanderson Sisters!

Are you ready to book your vacation on Disney Cruise Line? Contact me today!

Get more information on Disney Cruise Line here!

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Capture Your Moment

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Read Time:2 Minute, 48 Second

Capture Special Moments with Capture Your Moment Photo Session at Walt Disney World Theme Parks!

Capture Your Moment
Capture Your Moment – Magic Kingdom

Are you looking for a fun new activity for your family? Senior Pictures? Engagements? Consider a Capture Your Moment Photo Session! These sessions, available at all four Walt Disney World theme parks, give you a one-on-one session with a Disney PhotoPass Photographer.

Pricing and Details

capture your moment

Capture Your Moment sessions are one-on-one photo sessions with a photographer, and they are available for booking 60 days in advance as part of Enchanting Extras. You do have the opportunity to book two back-to-back sessions for 40 minutes and two different locations! Each 20-minute session costs $79 for up to 8 people, and full payment is due at time of booking. If you need to cancel, make sure to do it before 24-hours prior to your appointment. Payment will still be due if you do not show up, or cancel within 24 hours! Photos cost extra, unless you have the Memory Maker. Memory Maker provides access to all photo downloads. A WIN-WIN! These Sessions are only available during regular park hours and you must have valid admission (also not included in the $79 price) and park reservations.

Magic Kingdom

capture your moment

At the Magic Kingdom, you will check in AT LEAST 10-minutes prior to your session at Box Office Gifts inside Town Square Theater. This is right at the entrance of Magic Kingdom on the right as you enter. Your photog will meet you there and tell you which locations are available that day. (No worries, all locations come with a view of Cinderella Castle!) You’ll be able to choose props or bring your own (appropriate) props. Wedding attire is not permitted. Guests under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

EPCOT

spaceship earth
Photo: Disney

Over at Epcot, quickly becoming my favorite park again (but I still miss Horizons), the photo options are absolutely amazing. Again, only available during regular park hours with valid admission and a park reservation. You will check in 10-minutes early at the Kidcot Fun Stop next to Art of Disney in the American Adventure. Choose from locations in the Germany pavilion, Italy pavilion, American Adventure, Japan Pavilion, or the Morocco pavilion. AMAZING. If I were to do back-to-back sessions, this is the park I would DEFINITELY choose!

Hollywood Studios

sunset boulevard

Next, Hollywood Studios offers several locations to choose from as well, but first, you have to get your photographer! Check in at Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques, located to the left right as you enter the park! Photo locations include Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Sunset Boulevard, or another beloved spot. Unfortunately, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is NOT included in the Capture Your Moment Photo Session.

Animal Kingdom

tree of life

And finally, we head to Animal Kingdom, where you check in outside of Island Mercantile. When you meet your photographer, you’ll have your choice of an iconic Animal Kingdom location with a view of the magnificent Tree of Life!

And that is everything there is to know about Capture Your Moment Photo Sessions. These are perfect for Engagements, Anniversaries, Birth Announcements, Birthdays, Family Reunions, Graduation, Senior Pictures, or anything you might celebrate at the parks!

Schedule your FREE Vacation Consultation today!

Or just fill out the free quote request form here!

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Moderate vs Deluxe Hotels

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Read Time:6 Minute, 26 Second

How Do You Choose: Moderate vs Deluxe Hotels at Walt Disney World

moderate or deluxe hotels

There are a ton of decisions to be made about your Walt Disney World Vacation, long before you book, let alone before you travel! Let’s compare Moderate vs Deluxe Hotels, and how you can choose the one that will work best for your family AND your budget!

Moderate resorts are the middle of the road resorts. These are good for those that want to spend a day or two at just the resort. Deluxe hotels offer the top-most level of amenities, have the closest proximity to the parks, more dining options, generally more transportation options, and way more perks. So which resort is right for YOU? How do you choose?

Walt Disney World Resorts All Have Amenities

moderate vs deluxe
Waterslide at the Luna Park Pool at Boardwalk Inn

It should come as no surprise that every resort hotel at Walt Disney World have basic amenities. There’s not really a hotel that is just a bland room. They are all themed in some way, and all offer free in-room WiFi, free WDW transportation to the parks, water parks, and Disney Springs, and have online check-in. Every resort has at LEAST one pool. Most have at least two, even.

And there’s even MORE basic amenities! While you have to pay to park overnight at your resort, you will have FREE parking at all 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and Disney Springs. You will also be able to use your MagicBand to charge back to your room at all Walt Disney World resort hotels. And if you are staying at more than one hotel, you will get FREE baggage transfer within those resorts.

Finally, all guests at Walt Disney World resorts have early morning entry at all four theme parks. Get into the parks before everyone else and head to your favorite attractions before the lines get too long! You will also be able to reserve your Genie+ lightning lanes and Individual Lightning Lane purchases before offsite guests. And all resorts have dining options and a gift shop!

Moderates vs Deluxe Hotels: Pricing Comparison

moderate vs deluxe

Let’s just rip the band aid RIGHT OFF. How do the prices compare for Moderates vs Deluxe Hotels? Moderate Resorts range from $250-$400 per night, while Deluxe Resorts range from $400-$1000+ per night. This, of course, depends on the season, and even day of the week. For the most part, the Moderate rooms are standard hotel rooms, with most opening out to the outside. Kind of Disnified Motel Rooms, only not at all gross like Motels!

Deluxe Hotels, on the other hand, offer your standard hotel rooms, studios, suites, and family villas that have full kitchens and a washer and dryer! The rooms are also slightly bigger, and almost all Deluxe hotels have a patio or a balcony.

Moderates vs Deluxe Hotels: Location, Location, Location

Fireworks from the Wilderness Lodge

Deluxe Resorts are the closest to the theme parks, with the exception of Animal Kingdom Lodge (it is WAY out there, but close to Animal Kingdom). In some cases, you can even walk to the parks. Deluxe Resorts have more transportation options, including monorail, boats, and even the Skyliner.

The closest you can get to the Magic Kingdom is the five minute or so walk from the Contemporary. You can also walk from the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian, or hop on the monorail for both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Staying at the Boardwalk, Beach, or Yacht Club puts you within walking distance of both Epcot AND Hollywood Studios. You can also grab the Skyliner, take Friendship Boats to Hollywood Studios or Epcot, too! The Riviera has the Skyliner, and the Wilderness Lodge is a short boat ride to Magic Kingdom.

Moderate Resorts are farther away from the parks than the Deluxe Resorts, but not as far as the Values. They have bus transportation ONLY, with the exception of Caribbean Beach Resort, which is the hub for the Skyliner. Coronado Springs is the Moderate hotel that is also the Convention Center, so there are additional amenities there, including Gran Destino Tower. Gran Destino Tower is brand new with rooms and suites. It is best described as Moderate pricing with a Deluxe feel. Port Orleans (both Riverside and Port Orleans) are way over by Disney Springs. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness, somehow considered a Moderate, are located right across the lake from the Magic Kingdom.

Moderates vs Deluxe Hotels: Amenities and Entertainment

Dining on the Boardwalk
Dining on the Boardwalk – Trattoria al Forno

As previously discussed, all the resort hotels have basic amenities, but they get just a little bit better the higher you go up in resorts. At Moderate Resorts, as well as Value and Deluxe, you can watch a movie on the lawn, go to a bonfire, or take part in a number of activities taking place during the day. But at Deluxe resorts, you can usually catch the fireworks WHILE you watch the movie, a nice added perk!

Moderate Resort pools are bigger than value, with small waterslides and loads of fun for everyone. There is usually at least one other pool that is considered more of a quiet pool, for those looking for a more peaceful swim. The Deluxe pools, however, are much bigger, with bigger waterslides, splash pads, whirlpool spas, great poolside bars, a lazy river, and, at some pools, cabanas you can rent by the day! In addition, there is usually a DVC pool area and even an additional quiet pool area.

Dining

Moderate vs Deluxe Hotels have a ton of amenities to compare, including DINING! All resorts have dining options. For the most part, Moderate Resorts all have one table service option (except for Port Orleans French Quarter) and at least one quick service. Deluxe Resorts, on the other hand, usually have at least 2 table service restaurants, one more casual and one fine dining option. In addition, Deluxe Resorts have a quick service restaurant.

Deluxe Resorts also have upscale Lounges, serving quick bites, beverages, cocktails, and beers. And as an extra special perk, a lot of Deluxe Resorts have areas to watch theme park fireworks shows while you relax at your resort. And some even pipe the music in while you do it!

Perks Available ONLY to Deluxe Resort Guests

There are a few perks available ONLY to Deluxe Resort Guests. Guests staying at Deluxe Resort hotels can enjoy extended hours on select nights at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. This includes an EXCLUSIVE virtual queue at 6:00pm on Epcot nights, for an additional opportunity for guests to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Deluxe Resorts also offer gyms and fitness centers, as well as spas.

So How Do You Choose?

Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Totem at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

How do you choose? The honest answer is that only you will know. When deciding in the great Moderate vs Deluxe Hotels game, you’ll need to consider your budget, how long you want your trip to last, and what’s worth it to you. Split Stays are a great option to get a taste of Deluxe then transfer to a Moderate or Value. For me, personally, I LOVE the Deluxe hotels. Wilderness Lodge is my very favorite resort and the Boardwalk area, with Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Yacht Club, is my favorite area (can’t beat that short walk to Epcot AND Hollywood Studios). But I have had a lot of clients have their favorite vacations ever at Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs. Long story short, it all depends on what kind of Disney vacation you want to have! Either way, I’d love to help you plan it! Contact me today for your free vacation consultation!

Visit here for more information about Disney Resort Hotels.

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Splitsville Luxury Lanes

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Splitsville Luxury Lanes is Located at Disney Springs West Side

As I’ve said many, many times before, Walt Disney World has SO MUCH TO DO, and it is absolutely impossible to do it all in one trip! One of the most fun non-park day activities is to go bowling at Splitsville Luxury Lanes! This 2-story luxury bowling alley is located in the West Side of Disney Springs. There are 26-lanes, 5 bars, a restaurant, and MORE! While bowling isn’t an activity you can only do at Disney, this is a fun and unique non-park day activity, and GREAT for rainy days!

All the Deets About Splitsville

Splitsville Luxury Lanes - Disney Springs West Side

As I said already, there are 5 bars in Splitsville. This makes Splitsville Luxury Lanes a GREAT place to watch that college football game or NFL game while on vacation! The second floor becomes an adult hangout as the day turns to night, with all the bars, but the first floor is always family-friendly!

Much like Walt Disney World, Splitsville has A LOT to do! You can frequently catch live entertainment or go dancing. With a full service restaurant and 5 bars, there’s plenty to eat and drink, or you can choose to dine at your lane, where full-service dining is available. Play pool or catch the game on one of over sixty televisions. There is even an outdoor dining porch upstairs!

Splitsville Bowling Information

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

There are 26 lanes on two floors, and all lanes are ADA compliant! There is an elevator available to the second floor, too. In general, lanes are first come, first served, but you are able to book a lane online. Scoring is automatic, and your names will appear above your lane after you check in. 8 bowlers can play on a lane together.

There is a Lane Concierge who will deliver your shoes and help you set up your games, if you need it. A GREAT perk, if you ask me! The Kids’ Bowling Balls have Mickey and Minnie designs on them, too, for that little Disney touch you never knew you needed! There are no age limits, as that is left to parental discretion. Shoes start as small as 7 Toddler all the way to Men’s 18s. And the smallest ball is 7 pounds. If someone in your party needs bumpers, just let them know when you check in, and they will set it up for you!

Bowling Pricing

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Pricing is per person and includes shoe rental. Your lane time is then based on number of players, since you pay per person and not per game.

  • 1-2 people: 1 hour
  • 3-4 people: 1.25 hour
  • 5-6 people: 1.5 hour
  • 7-8 people: 1.75 hour
  • Monday-Friday op-4:00pm: $30/person
  • Monday-Friday 4:00pm-close: $34/person
  • Weekends open-close: $34/person

Dining

Splitsville Dining

Splitsville Luxury Lanes features a full-service dining room. You can get a reservation at 60 days out on My Disney Experience, or check on Open Table. The cuisine is American, including appetizers like loaded fries, pizzas, burgers and more! The dining room is open from 11:00am til 10:00pm.

Allergy Dining Options

As Splitsville is not a Disney-owned restaurant, there is no dedicated Allergy-Friendly Menu. Likewise, there is a high chance of cross contamination. Proceed with caution!

Magical Extras

Everyone that books a Walt Disney World Vacation Package receives Magical Extras – free perks and discounts available as part of that package. Splitsville Luxury Lanes is part of this! Guests will receive 10% off non-discounted price of bowling for walk-in bowlers; 10% off food and non-alcoholic beverages for dine-in guests; and 10% off non-discounted merchandise!

Are you ready to book your Walt Disney World Vacation?! Contact me today!!

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Gluten-Friendly Offerings at Food & Wine

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Here are ALL the Gluten-Friendly Offerings We Already Know About for the 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival!

It’s almost here! The 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is set to open on Thursday, July 14, 2022. I can’t WAIT! This is my favorite Festival and the food gets better and better every year! But when you have Celiac, foods can also be intimidating. Once the kitchens open, we’ll have more insight into the ingredients and the actual gluten-free and gluten-friendly foods, but for now, we can only go by what they tell us! So here is what has already been released as Gluten-Friendly Offerings at this year’s Food & Wine Festival.

Gluten-Friendly Offerings
EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

Gluten-Friendly Offerings: Australia, Refreshment Port, Canada

Gluten-Friendly Offerings - Australia

Photo: Disney

Up first, Australia. Australia will be located near the Port of Entry, and will be opening with the Festival on July 14. It wouldn’t be Australia without some shrimp on the barbee, right? Anyway, grilled sweet & spicy bush berry shrimp with pineapple, peppers, onions, and snap peas. Also, the roasted lamp chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies. Australia coming in strong with two gluten-friendly dishes to taste!

Continuing on towards Canada, which is the PROPER way to do World Showcase (I said what I said and I will not back down), the Refreshment Port Hosted by Boursin will once again have the braised beef poutine. I LOVED this last year, and I can’t wait to have it again! This poutine is French fries, Boursin garlic & fine herbs cheese sauce, cheese curds, & gherkin relish. While it is not currently listed as gluten-friendly, when I checked with the ingredients binder last year, it was gluten-friendly, but if cross-contamination is a risk, I would avoid it. At Canada, DO NOT skip out on the Le Cellier wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

France, Brazil, and Greece

Gluten-Friendly Offerings - Brazilian cheese bread

Photo: Disney

Unfortunately, you’ll need to run through the UK, unless you stop for an excellent beverage in Rose & Crown, and head over the bridge to France. Here, splurge on the all-new crème brulee vanilla a la confiture de framboises. AKA vanilla crème brulee with house-made raspberry jam. Next, stop by Brazil for Pao de Queijo, or Brazilian cheese bread! And finally, at Greece, snack on griddled cheese with pistachios and honey!

Spain, Kenya, and Mexico

Moving right along, past all the non-gluten free countries but maybe getting some cocktails, I won’t judge! BUT, don’t skip Spain, as their entire food menu is gluten-friendly! First, there’s the charcuterie, with a selection of Spanish meats, cheeses, olives, and an herbed vinaigrette. Next, try the Paella, with rice, chorizo, and shrimp. And finally, the seafood salad with shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and smoked paprika.

Stop by the Refreshment Outpost and try some Kenyan cuisine! The Kenyan coffee barbecued beef tenderloin with sweet potato and corn mealie pap and kachumbari slaw.

Gluten-Friendly Offerings Mexico

And AT LAST, we’ve reached MEXICO!! In addition to incredible margaritas, there are two brand new gluten-friendly menu items that I, for one, cannot WAIT to try! Up first, the Taco al Pastor: a seared pork belly pastor on a fried corn tortilla, with chipotle black beans, pineapple, pickled onions, and chives. Next, Tostada de Barbacoa. This is barbacoa beef on a fried corn tortilla with chipotle black beans, salsa verde, Mexican crema, queso fresco, and chives.

The Swanky Saucy Swine

I’m so happy to see this kitchen return this year, because it was my surprise sleeper of last year’s Festival! The Swanky Saucy Swine will be returning, and you can find it near Disney Traders. Up first is a new menu item this year: grilled pork shoulder lettuce wrap, with charred corn salsa, pickled red onion, and cilantro-lime crema. Followed up by the most surprising thing that I ate and absolutely LOVED: crispy barbecued pork rinds with pimento cheese. I know what you’re thinking….PORK RINDS?!?!? I was skeptical, too, but when I tell you these are amazing, I need you to trust me! They were SO GOOD we actually ended up fighting over who go to finish the bag! And that pimento cheese dip was HEAVENLY!

Gluten-Friendly Offerings at Marketplaces Opening on August 11

Some kitchens will not open on July 14, so if you need to add a SECOND trip, everybody will completely understand! First up, we have the Noodle Exchange, which will be near Disney Traders.

  • Traditional Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho, with shaved beef, mushrooms, and Thai basil
  • Thai Shrimp & Coconut-Curry Rice Noodles, with shiitake mushrooms and Thai basil
  • Tofu Pho, with mushrooms and Thai basil
Gluten-Friendly Offerings
Photo: Disney

And FINALLY, Brew-Wing! I LOVED this stop last year, because ANYWHERE that allows me to eat wings that I don’t have to make myself is amazing, but these were just absolute PERFECTION.

GF Wings
  • Garlic-Parmesan Wings with celery and ranch
  • Traditional Buffalo Wings with celery and ranch

2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

There is SO MUCH to eat, drink, see, and do at the Food & Wine Festival! You don’t want to miss this one!

Remy's Hide & Squeak

Remy’s Hide & Squeak

Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique! Kids of all ages can search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around the Festival. Simply purchase your map and stickers from select Festival merchandise locations!

Next, search throughout World Showcase for hidden statuettes of Remy. When you find one, match the appropriate sticker to the location on your map! Once you’ve found them all, bring your completed map to one of the Festival merchandise locations for a special surprise, compliments of Chef Remy!

Emile’s Fromage Montage
Eat to the Beat Concerts and Dining Packages

Ready to book your Walt Disney World vacation to visit this year’s Food & Wine Festival? Contact me today!

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