Posts Tagged With: Walt Disney Company

Single Digit Dance

Today at my house we  are doing the “Single Digit Dance”

What in the world is that, you ask??

The Single Digit Dance isn’t so much a dance, as it is, well, celebration of reaching another milestone in our “Countdown to the Magic”.  As our countdown officially stands at 9 Days, we are now in “single digits”.  🙂

So, how do you celebrate a ridiculous, made-up, never before heard of event??  

Of course you break out all of your Disney gear, and wear nothing but Disney Shirts, Mickey Ears, sandals, and shorts to work.  You listen to nothing but Disney music at home, work, in the car…..

Alright, maybe that’s a little over the top.  People would think you were weird or something.  (Well, or at least more weird than normal in my case)

At any rate, here are some things you could do to prepare for your upcoming trip:

Countdowns

If you haven’t already started an official countdown, now is the time to do it.  Nothing makes the final days move faster than marking them off the calendar.

There are many different ways you could choose from to do your countdown.

Some people make construction paper chain links.  Each night your children (or you, I promise I won’t tell) can tear off a link at bedtime.  It’s a great visualization for younger children to get an idea of how many days are left.

Others may choose to do something more elaborate, like creating a wooden countdown peg board with mini Mickey heads with the numbers 0 – 9 on them.  Each day, they could change the date. Although this approach would take some time to set up, it would be a fun craft for the family to work on, and you could use it year after year.

We typically print calendars that count down the days.  On the day we travel, I print a little mickey image.  The kids look forward to marking the days off, and at any point, if you ask them, they can tell you EXACTLY how many days are left.

Then, of course there are electronic countdowns including several apps for the iPhone.

Getting Ready . . . For the Fun of it

We generally take this opportunity to get our Disney nerd on.  This is when we break out all of our Disney music and Disney themed games.

Now is also the time to watch Disney movies and home movies from past trips.  Time to reminisce by looking over pictures and scrapbooks from days gone by and anticipate making new memories.

Getting ready . . . For the Necessity of it

While this time can certainly be fun, it can also be stressful.  There are many things to remember to take care of, a list of things to do, and thousands of things to pack.

Here’s a brief checklist of items you should consider:

  • Begin packing – the earlier you can do this, the better.  Nothing is worse than starting your vacation exhausted because you were up all night the night before packing
  • Renew your prescriptions (make sure these go in your carry on luggage.  See the link below for my post about the Magical Express)
  • Check the Orlando Weather – this may assist in what exactly to pack.
  • Which brings up the next point…keep packing
  • Confirm all your reservations – Airline, Hotel, Car Rental, Dining – better safe than sorry.
  • Make sure that friends, family and neighbors know that you will be gone, and how to get in touch with you in case of emergency
  • Make sure you do the laundry you will need while on vacation – You don’t want to be doing it the night before.
  • Re-Check the Attraction Refurbishment schedule – this has been known to change over time.  It’s best to be prepared if your favorite attraction will be closed
  • Charge the batteries for your Camera, Video Camera, iPod, GPS, etc.
  • Continue packing
  • Stop your mail & newspaper
  • Make arrangements for your pets
  • Pick up some Disney Gift Cards – this is a great way for the kids to feel that they “paid” for their souvenirs.
  • Do Online Check-in (if staying on Disney property) – You can do this up to 10 days in advance of your arrival.  By doing this, you can recapture some of the time you would normally spend standing at the counter when you arrive at your resort
  • Did I mention Packing? – Don’t forget Park Tickets, Magical Express Vouchers, Airline Boarding Passes, Passports (if going on a cruise)

Enough of the “Necessity”, I want FUN!

OK.  I’ll end with some things you can do to keep the excitement going over the last week or so.

Now is the time to make sure you have your itinerary locked down.  We always begin with what parks are we touring on what day.  From there, we make a list of the “must-do” attractions.  These are ones we want to make sure we see.  Now, starting with this list, we make a list of the first 3 – 5 attractions we want to see when we arrive at each park in the morning.  Nothing is worse than taking the time to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn so you can beat the crowds, then upon arriving at the park standing and staring at a map trying to figure out what you should do first while the masses head to the attractions.

With these thoughts in mind, I’m sure you can have a magical experience.

Are there things you do to prepare for your trip that I didn’t mention?  Rituals that your family has as your vacation approaches?  I’d love to hear them!

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Categories: Cruises, Destinations, Disneyland, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Passport to Happiness

So last week we had an exciting mail day!  I know…I know.  Really?  Mail?  Exciting?  Doesn’t mail just mean bills, catalogs, credit card offers, and other junk?  Sure…usually.  That day, however, was one of those rare days when you get something special.  You immediately run to the house to show your spouse.

So, what was it that caused today to be one of those days, you ask?

Well, that day we got this:

Your passport to happiness  :-)

Ok, I still don’t get it.  What exactly is that?

Well, I generally look as this little packet as my “passport to happiness”.  It is the travel vouchers and luggage tags from Disney’s Magical Express, needed for my upcoming trip (16 days, but who is counting) to Walt Disney World.  Receiving this in the mail each time we travel is, in my book, a vacation milestone.  Once I receive this, I know that my trip is imminent, and I can start to get excited and start the official countdown.

Not familiar with Disney’s Magical Express?

What is Disney’s Magical Express

If you are staying at one of Disney’s resorts during your vacation, Disney provides complimentary round-trip shuttle service from the Orlando International Airport.  Disney’s Magical Express also includes luggage delivery.

By using this service, you can step off the airplane, and head directly to the Magical Express bus for your transportation to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel.  There is no need to wait for, or transport your luggage.

How it works

After you have secured your flight arrangements, contact your Vacation Planner (me of course 🙂 ) with your flight info, or of course if you have decided to do something crazy like do all of the planning yourself, and not use my services, you can contact Disney directly to reserve your spot on Disney’s Magical Express.

Approximately 3 weeks prior to your departure, Disney will mail you your very own magic envelope (and you too can begin celebrating).  Inside the envelope, you will find your travel vouchers and luggage tags.  When you are checking in at your departure airport, make sure that you have attached the luggage tags to your bags.  If you do this, you won’t have to worry about your bags again.  The next time you will see them is when they are delivered to your room at Walt Disney World.

An important side note here.  When packing, make sure you pack your travel vouchers in your carry-on bag.  You will need these vouchers in order to board the Magical Express motor coach.

Now, back to your trip….

When you arrive at the Orlando International Airport, you can pass right by the baggage claim area, and make your way downphoto credit:  Disney to Level 1 of the Main Terminal (B Side).  At the Magical Express check-in, they will check your vouchers and direct you to board the correct motor coach.

Now, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let your vacation begin.  As you travel on board the motor coach, you will be treated to a cute video that will give you all the highlights of Walt Disney World.   This is one of our family favorites, and something we look forward to each trip.  To me, it is the official start of vacation.

Disney’s Magical Express will transport you to the front door of your resort.  All you need to do is check in, and start soaking in all the Magic.

But wait, what about your luggage ??

Disney’s Magical Express service will collect your bags and deliver them directly to your room within 4 hours of the time you check in at the resort.

Time for another Public Service Announcement:

Something else you will want to keep in mind is since you will not have your luggage with you when you check in to the resort, you will want to make sure that you pack anything that you will need for the first couple of hours in your carry-on bag.  (Medicine, park tickets, reservation numbers, etc).  

So, on your next trip to “the World”, don’t stress out about transportation from the airport.  Sit back and let Mickey handle the driving!

Have questions, or comments?  Feel free to contact me.

Categories: Destinations, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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