Tuesday’s Tip- Watch 4th of July Fireworks LIVE! From the Magic Kingdom !!!!

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Mouskaholics out there!  Are you sad that you were unable to make it down to Walt Disney World to celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday?  Is the weather bad where you are, cancelling your local fireworks?  Do you just miss Disney and want your Disney fix?  Well have no fear!  If you head to the Disney Parks Blog tonight at 8:55 pm you’ll be able to live stream “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks.

MK Fireworks.jpg

At 8:55 the live stream will give you a brief insider look at the behind the scenes of Disney’s nighttime spectacular shows, and the fireworks will begin at 9:00.

Fireworks, Disney, and not having to fight the traffic and crowds… yes please!

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YouTube- Episode 2 is now available

So Mr. Mouskaholic and filmed and prepared Episode 2 to be posted by the end of February, but you know… technical difficulties and all that jazz!  Alas, February’s “Episode 2” is now officially available to watch on YouTube!

In this episode we discuss Disney news, park and resort updates, my favorite ride at the magic kingdom, resort refillable mugs, and other travel tips!

So check out our episode 2 and subscribe to our channel  for our monthly update videos!

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Musical Monday- The Music of the Parks

One of my favorite thing to do when I’m missing Disney is to listen to Disney music on YouTube.  The next few Mondays I will be sharing some of my music from the parks to listen to!  If you’re planning your next trip or going through Disney withdraw check out the park loops etc. on YouTube 🙂

My park is Epcot, so I will start with the music of Illuminations.  (I actually have an entire Epcot playlist on YouTube!)

If you’re tired of just listening to music from the parks and are ready to start planning your next trip contact Ashley@Charmingtravelsllc.com for your free quote.  Her planning services are always free of charge, and she is a graduate of Disney’s College of Knowledge.

 

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Tuesday’s Tip- Dining Reservations

Alright, I know I’ve touched on this one before in other posts, but it’s SOOOOO important to make your dining reservations before you head to Disney World!

The very first time that Craig and I ever wanted to go to a sit down restaurant at Disney World was his first trip to the Magic Kingdom.  We had no idea that you needed to have reservations to eat at a sit down restaurant!  We were lucky and were able to have a VERY early dinner at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, but had it been during peak season, I’m sure we would have been turned away.  If you don’t make the reservations ahead of time, you can always check with the concierge desk at your hotel (if you’re on Disney property that is) and see if there are any dining reservations available.  If you’re not staying on disney property you can also check with guest services the day of and potentially make reservations.

Dining Reservations available on Disney's website

Dining Reservations available on Disney’s website

You can start making your dining reservations 180 days prior to your trip, and that will be necessary for some of the more popular dining experiences (Be Our Guest Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier Steakhouse).  Otherwise I recommend making them once you know what park you’ll be in on which day.  Disney’s website does now require a credit card number in order to make reservations.  There is no charge unless your party fails to show up.

Also don’t be afraid to check out the restaurants at the resorts!  You don’t have to be in the parks to enjoy an amazing meal!  Some of Disney’s top rated restaurants are located at the resorts!

Disney Water Parks Part II- Typhoon Lagoon

Many apologies for the delay on posting about the second Disney Water Park, life and back to school have taken over!

So last week we talked about the fun of the water parks that Disney has to offer, and we explored Blizzard Beach.  Today we take a more in depth look at Typhoon Lagoon.

Much like Blizzard Beach, Tyhpoon Lagoon has a story.  The story is that there was a pristine tropical paradise that folks could visit, but in 1989 a terrible typhoon came through and wreaked havoc upon the paradise.  There was a lot of damage done and the result was boats, fishing nets, and surfboards strewn about wherever the storm may have left them.   The centerpiece of the water park is the boat “Miss Tilly” that was impaled on the top of “Mount Mayday”.  Every half hour, a geyser of water  erupts from Miss Tilly and rains down upon the park guests.

Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon

Like Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon has tons of slides and attractions to offer its guests.  It is different though in its theming and offerings.  Typhoon Lagoon is home of the worlds largest wave pool.  Wave crash down every 90 seconds with waves reaching 6 feet high.  One other unique offering is the shark reef.  With this experience you can view the sharks from an underground viewing location, or you can even swim with the sharks (at no additional cost!  It’s included in your water park admission price!)

Snorkeling at Shark Reef

Snorkeling at Shark Reef

Disney water parks are not to be missed.  They are perfect for taking a day off from the hustle and bustle of the main four parks, but still can be a thrilling experience!

Map of Typhoon Lagoon

Map of Typhoon Lagoon

 

Tuesday’s Tip- Ponchos

It’s no secret that Central Florida is generally warm and muggy (especially in the summer)!  With the combination of heat and humidity it is likely that at some point in the day there will be rain.  The problem is, you’ve saved and saved, and saved for your disney vacation and you don’t want a little rain to slow you down!

On our most recent trip there were two times that it rained.  The first we lucked out because we were sitting at a table service restaurant for lunch, and the rain was done before we finished our dessert.  The second time it rained we heading towards star tours at Hollywood Studios and the sky absolutely opened up upon us.

One of the biggest tips that I can offer you in this situation is simply be prepared!  Go to the dollar store prior to your trip and purchase one poncho per person for each for at least half the days you’re going.  Craig and I were going to the park for 6 days, so I purchased 6 ponchos for the two of us, and spent a grand total of $6 plus tax.

Dollar Store Ponchos

Dollar Store Ponchos

By the time you’re at Disney and in the parks you’ve already given the disney corporation enough of your money.  Chances are you can spend as much on ponchos for your entire group as you would for 1 poncho at the parks.  You wouldn’t believe how many people I saw wearing disney ponchos in the parks.  All I could see when I saw those ponchos was an insane amount of money spent on plastic!  Children’s ponchos at Disney are $7.00 and adult size are $10 or $11.  For a family of four (two adults and two kids) you’re looking at $34-$36 (plus tax) for plastic!!!

Disney Parks Ponchos

Disney Parks Ponchos

I will add that Disney’s ponchos are much heavier duty, have the disney logo on them, and are reusable, where the dollar store ponchos are not reusable.  HOWEVER, the disposable ponchos are still far more economical, and will fit in your day bag much easier than the bulkier reusable ponchos!

Hope you enjoyed todays tip!

Reflections of Vacation + Tuesday’s Tips

Good Morning Mouskaholics,

First of all, I wanted to thank you my readers for following me on my journey to Disney this past week.  Craig and I had a wonderful time.  Today will be a short post, mostly because I’m exhausted and will need time to collect my thoughts and topics from this past week!

So first, here is Tuesday’s Tip-

When saving for your Disney vacation, find a way to get Disney gift cards for your trip.  Around here, Giant Eagle offers fuel perks, and if you watch carefully you can get double fuel perks or even grocery bonus coupons for purchasing your gift card.  We saved close to $400.00 in gas and an additional $120.00 in groceries by purchasing gift cards from Giant Eagle.  If you don’t have a Giant Eagle around, check out Sam’s Club.  They don’t offer the bonus fuel, but you can save a few bucks on each gift card.  They sell a $50.00 gift card for $48.88.  Not a huge savings, but if you’re paying for your entire trip with gift cards (which you can on the disney website) or taking spending $$$  that can save you quite a bit.  Let’s say you purchase $1200.00 in gift cards to pay for your vacation.  With the gift cards you’re only paying $1173.12.  That’s 27 bucks back in your pocket.  If you take an additional $500.00 for spending money, that’s another $11 in savings.  I believe that fuel perks are definitely the way to go, but if they don’t offer a deal like that near you, then check out Sam’s club for the savings!

Additional gift card info you should know-  If you’re staying on Disney Property they set up your magic bands with charging privileges.  You link a credit card to your account and you essentially can charge anything that you purchase back to your room.  Even if you charge items back to your room, you can still use your gift cards!  Even though it’s linked to a credit card, they don’t have the charges go through automatically.  The concierge at the hotel told me that if you get past a $500.00 limit they will then charge the card.  If you stay under $500, it will not charge it until midnight the night before you check out.  So every two days or so, I would stop down at the front desk with my gift cards and they would apply those to the balance vs. charging my credit card!  It was much easier than carrying a bunch of gift cards around the park and trying to pay with them!

Reflections from my trip-

I will be brief here.

1) I pre-blogged last week, and posted my itineraries as they stood before we left.  I took two afternoons and posted all of my blogs before we even left and then scheduled them to post while I as gone. (Just in case anyone was wondering how in the world I had time to blog while I was at Disney).

2) There were days that didn’t go exactly as planned and that’s okay.  Being flexible is something you have to do while on a Disney trip.  Your fastpass may have to be used later because of weather, you may not be able to go swimming when you’re at the resort because of lightning, you may need to pick an attraction that you wouldn’t normally do because it’s hot out and you just need to sit in the A/C for a moment!

3) I have learned that going at this very hot time of year, it is absolutely necessary for me to go back to the resort and get a break from the parks.  There was a time in my youth where I could hit early extra magic hours in the morning a park and stay through closing time.  At 30 years old, that is not the case.  I need a break.  If you have kids I bet they need a break too!

4) The next vacation I plan will absolutely NOT have 6 park days back to back.  I need a break in between parks.  At most, I will plan 2 days of parks in a row, and then a break.  Break days are great for either swimming at the resort or a water park, and shopping at Downtown Disney.  I had a GREAT time on my vacation, but I am exhausted.  This could have been a much more relaxing trip had we even done 1 less day in the parks and taken a day off to recoup.