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Castle magic kingdom

Toy story buss woody lotso flower and garden epcot

Tink and mickey ak

wishes fireworks magic kingdom

Polynesian Resort, Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Polynesian Resort Pool

Drinking Around the World at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

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I consider the Germany pavilion to be one of the World Showcases little hidden havens.  There is something about the fountain with the statue of St. George slaying the dragon and the faint sounds of Oktoberfest accordion music coming from the Biergarten buffet restaurant that make me immediately embrace my own German heritage and feel cozy and at home.

Sommerfest is a great stop for lunch and for one of my favorite beers: Altenmunster Oktoberfest.

If you like normal Oktoberfest brews it may not be your first choice, however, and I will explain why.

I first gave this a try as I like beers with a much lighter taste and at the time we stopped I saw the look of the beer the people in front of us had ordered.  I asked what they had and it was love at first sip.

With more of an ale taste, this was a perfect choice to compliment the brats we ordered for lunch on a bright and sunny Florida day.  Next time you are strolling through World Showcase, whether you are a beer connoisseur or just want something to compliment your meal (or the feel of the pavilion) I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Prost!!

 

By profession Melissa is a 9th grade World History teacher, but by nature she is a lover of all things Disney. She has always been a bit of a bookworm and has believed in fairytales since she was a little girl. (Her favorite heroine and princess is Belle.)

Melissa DonaldWhen she isn’t teaching, snapping pictures to post on Picturing Disney on Facebook, updating her photoblog Picturing Disney, or prancing around Disney Parks like a kid, she is lives her life filled with love, laughter, and happily ever after in New York with her husband and their adorable dog.

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Traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort from the United Kingdom Part 2

By Janine P.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I had dreamed of taking my daughter Tink to the Walt Disney World Resort.  She did come with us inutero and caused me no end of grief including a trip to the emergency room where our first scan of her at just 6 weeks was performed by a Tower of Terror Cast Member (she was also employed by Celebration Hospital just to clarify!).
So as soon as she was born we began to think about when we could take her back.  We even snuck in a 2 night stay at Disneyland Paris.  But nothing prepared me for actually being at Walt Disney World with my husband and child.
Let me give you a heads up, I’m a crier.  I cry when we land in the US. I cry when I see the first Walt Disney World sign.  I cry on the monorail and I bawl like a baby when I’m on Main Street.  This was all amplified by about a million having Tink in tow.
We decided just to potter about Downtown Disney the first evening as it had been a long flight and I sniffled all the way round, culminating in a few good tears at Tinks first visit to World of Disney.
There were plenty of tears the first morning walking into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and even more when she had her first character experience, running up to Goofy and Pluto and giving them big kisses.  There was no shyness here, just pure excitement and pleasure.  But the biggest heart wrenching mama sobbing moment of that first day (and maybe the holiday?) was her meeting Mickey at Animation Courtyard.  Sorcerers Apprentice Mickey is my favorite anyway but add in the hugeness of the moment (and we were first in line) and the water works started good and proper.  Tink just ran into Mickeys arms and literally the whole crowd waiting collectively went ‘aw’.  Sniff.  This really was the moment when husband and I looked at each other and thought, that alone was worth all the months of saving and planning.
Every character interaction we had was amazing and we made full use of Photo Pass and now have over 400 wonderful photos to look at.  Tink was a bit more shy with the Princesses and Tinkerbell, mainly I think because they tried to engage with her and at just over 2 and half years old, although she doesn’t stop nattering at home she can be quite reserved with new people.  With fur characters she really came into her own, her favorite trick was to take a stuffed toy of that character to meet them, they loved that and we even ended up getting our Mexican Donald from EPCOT signed by the big duck which was pretty cool.
The character dining was a big hit too.  We did Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine, DHS with Handy Manny, Oso, June from Little Einsteins and Tinks firm favorite, Jake.  This was great fun and not as loud or hectic as I had been warned, just right as it is aimed at pre-schoolers.  We also ate at Cape May at the Beach Club breakfast.  This featured Donald, Goofy and Minnie and again it was just fab.  I’d love to stay here one day, what a wonderful resort.  We were however glad that we didn’t have to pay for madam to eat (they’re both buffets so under 3’s are free) as she was too busy looking at the characters to eat much, even the cakes didn’t tempt her.
Tink was also remarkably good and brave on rides.  Her favorite by far is It’s A Small World and we had to ride it hundreds of times.  I still have to sing her the song as part of her bedtime routine …
When we went to DLP in the summer she rode a couple of things, Buzz and Peter Pan, and didn’t really like them, in fact she said Buzz scared her.  So we didn’t hold out much hope in WDW.  But she was a changed child and even did Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion!!!  Now she was a little bit scared of those, but not in a get me out of here kinda way, just she cuddled into me a bit more during the dark bits.  Rollercoasters didn’t phase her at all, she held her arms up on Goofys Barmstormer shouting ‘weeeeee’ all the way round.  I’ll have her Space Mountain next time no prob 😉
She also LOVED the shows, especially the Disney Junior show.  I can just picture her now dancing all the way through, singing along and shouting to the characters on stage.  Well done Disney for a wonderful performance.
One of the things I really liked was the way the CMs interact with the little ones.  If she was wearing a Princess dress they’d call her Princess.  When she was dressed up like Tink they asked her about the fairies.  They were always waving at her and she got a couple of extra cookies.  I do believe WDW is a place for all people of all ages but I was 21 my first visit, I’m so glad Tink will always know she went when everything really was still pure magic and the CMs really do add to this.
We all really enjoyed taking our time and doing some rides and shows which were new for us too, such as the Disney Junior stuff and more sedate rides we had bypassed before (shame on us) such as Carousel of Progress and Jungle Cruise.  We also enjoyed exploring World Showcase through a 2 year olds eyes and spending time actually with the animals in the Affection Section in AK.  Everything about this holiday was focused on what Tink would want to do and indeed could do (although this mama did fit in one quick ToT ride) and it really worked for us.
This included getting to parks for rope drop, making the most of little or no lines, then heading back to our hotel for a quick rest and nap.  We would then either go back to the parks or shopping and dinner in the evening.  We didn’t make it out late enough to see any parades or fireworks and there was no way we did as much as previous years but this was very much a quality over quantity holiday for us.
One issue we did have (but would have had anywhere) was food and Tink not wanting to eat.  She is not the best eater, more of a snacker but she also doesn’t like to sit up and wait for her food, especially if there is stuff going on.  This did lead to a few ruined meals and tantrums but we always tried to keep in mind she is only 2, she has jeg lag and its like 100 degrees!!!  Bedtime was also an issue, as in she didn’t want to go!!!  Tink and I shared a bed and even when she was exhausted she didn’t go down without a fight a lot of the time, too excited and too much going on I expect but pretty frustrating at the time.  Only a week or so after we got home she dropped her day nap and now goes to bed no problem … typical, if only she’d done that there.  Oh well.
So there we are.  I’ve been totally honest about our first experience of WDW with a toddler.  There were many, many good times, a few did we make the right choice times but on the whole it was A-Mazing and we can’t wait to return in 2014 and do it all again.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

Janine Pipe, married mom of 2 year old Tink, living in Swindon in the UK.  DLP shareholder and lifelong WDW fan.  Always planning the next trip and making the most of all things Disney in England.  Has been told her house resembles a Disney Store.

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“Top 5Must Do’s” at Walt Disney World During the Holidays

The Osbourne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The holidays are a beautiful time to go to the Walt Disney World Resort. The Mouze Kateerz writers have come up with our list of “Top 5 Must DO’s” during the holidays.

1. Resort Hop!

2. Osborne Family Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

3. EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional

4. Shop at DownTown Disney and the Resorts!

5. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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How to Survive Walt Disney World at Thanksgiving & Christmas Holidays

Castle Dreamlights, Disney at night, Disney Christmas at night, Disney Christmas castle, Disney Christmas vacation, planning Disney vacation at Christmas, Disney Cinderella Castle at Christmas

When Cinderella Castle lights up, will you forget the crowds? Just maybe…

The Mouze Kateerz writers have been to Disney more than 1,000 times combined. They have traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort during the value season and during high peak (AKA The Holidays). Here are a few tips to help you survive and be realistic about your upcoming trip. Our goal is for you to have the most magical vacation possible.

Lisa P: We have been there at Christmas and went in knowing we couldn’t do everything. We did EMH (Extra Magic Hours), and chose to more look at decorations at the parks that day and not worry about hitting a bunch of rides. Also did Osbourne lights at night. We had a boardwalk view room at the Boardwalk and could watch the fireworks from there. Also make sure to have ADRs  (Advance Dining Reservations) well in advance so you don’t have to worry that day.

Holiday decorated topiary at Downtown Disney

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Amanda C: ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations)  is a must from that 180 day mark. Especially for the character dining, Liberty Tavern  and Le Cellier. Go in knowing lines are long and people are a little less magical because you are walking across the bridge to Adventureland nose to tail and hip to hip with complete strangers all wanting that magical experience just like you. Step back take a breath and people watch.
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Mike E: I would think the key to any crazy busy time is to just take it slowly like Lisa mentions, absorb all that is there to see, not worry so much about the different must do rides, and most importantly, as my good friend Monica says: “Just be.”
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Heather L: We have never gone in the crazy season!! Only way that I would is if I won a trip for free.  :) I know other friends that have and their best advice is to remain flexible, plan ahead, use fast passes, and take advantage of all the EMH (Extra Magic Hours). One friend who has been three times at Christmas and New Year’s says they enjoy visiting other Disney Resorts when the crowds are at their peak and Downtown Disney.
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Pluto holiday topiary at Epcot

Melissa R: Ironically, I just booked a last minute Thanksgiving trip for a client and got a lot of ADRs that they wanted…but having said that…be flexible! We will be there Thanksgiving week (and we were there 4th of July week) so the crowds don’t really phase us that much. Go in with a plan, know what are your must dos and what are the optionals.
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Teresa S: For many years we traveled to WDW the week between Christmas & New Year’s…. Take advantage of EMH – make sure your dining is booked way in advance and just go with the flow of the crowd. Patience is the key – there are long waits and so many people – but the atmosphere is full of holiday “sparks” and everyone is having fun! As Mike’s friend Monica said “Just be – just be in the moment” and enjoy the madness that is Disney at the holidays!!!
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Denny M: Don’t try to Christmas shop in the parks! The shops are insane. Spend a morning at Downtown Disney shopping for all those Disney gifts you have in mind. And make sure you make a shopping list ahead of time. In the hustle and bustle you’re sure to forget someone if you don’t. Plus…Downtown Disney is the best place to visit Santa! They build a house for him! Grins!
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Didi: We visited WDW during the 2 week period before and after Christmas and it was AMAZING! Planning is always important, but if you want to eat at all, ADRs are essential during this period! We did the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package on Christmas Eve (incredible), mass at the Contemporary Resort Christmas Day, and then did a complete tour of the resorts in lieu of a park day. Our favorite family trip ever!!
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Andrea C: Don’t try to ‘do it all’ during this time. With all there is too do in Disney during this time, you just can’t get it all in. Make a list. Get to the most important things on the list so if you run out of time, it really isn’t such a big disappointment. Remember to account for the extra travel time due to the large crowds. My favorite things to do during Christmas is to visit the Worlds in Epcot, the Osborne Lights and Resort hop to see them theme decorated.
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David D: I agree with Andrea… Each family member make a list of things they really want to do, and plan for those things—FPs, prioritizing when you ride, etc. Also on the really busy days, like thanksgiving or December 23, 24th, 25th, get to a park–magic kingdom especially–early and plan to stay there. When parks max out on capacity, you cannot get in!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SO here are great tips in a nut shell:
1. Be flexible
2. Have a Must Do/Like to Do List
3. Make Advance Dining Reservations 180 days prior to your vacation
4. Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours
5. Shop at Downtown Disney in the morning vs at a Theme Park
6. Have patients
Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com
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Can Tables in Wonderland Save You Money?

By Frances

Tables in Wonderland is a discount card that can be purchased by Florida Residents, Disney Vacation Club Members & Annual/Seasonal Pass Holders only.

BENEFITS INCLUDE

  • 20% discount on all food and beverages at 99 participating Resort hotel and Theme Park restaurants (discount is valid for a party of up to 10 Guests).
  • Resort and Theme Park parking for dining purposes
  • Invitations to special member-only food and wine events, winemaker dinners and celebrity chef dinners
  • Discount is also available on most adult & specialty beverages.
  • And more!

Cost to you:

$100 for Florida Residents or DVC Members

$75 for Annual/Season Pass Holders

It’s good from the first day purchased for 365 days.

You can purchase it at Guest Relations at any Walt Disney World Theme Park or Downtown Disney. Annual/Seasonal Pass Holders can order it Epcot Le Cellier, Epcot Le Cellier sign, Epcot Le Cellier menu, Epcot Le Cellier pricesby phone or mail. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

There are a few Block-out dates for the Tables in Wonderland: Mothers Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Tables in Wonderland discount cannot be used in combination with any other discount and is not valid for Fantasmic Dinner Package, Food and Wine Festival dinners, Candlelight Packages, or any other special events / special dining experiences.

An 18% gratuity is automatically added regardless of how many are in your party. A 20% gratuity is automatically added at Victoria & Albert’s.

Don’t lose the Tables in Wonderland Card. There is a $50 replacement fee.

For more information:

Here is why, Mouze Kateerz writer, Lucinda purchased a Tables in Wonderland Card. She is a Florida Resident & Annual Pass Holder. “20% is a good discount…makes it easy to get your money back, so to speak. Meaning…that for our family, we only need to dine out four times a year for the card to be a good value. TiW makes it more feasible for us, as locals to dine on Disney property. I like that beverages are included as well…and I like that we can include up to 9 guests per visit. There’s a nice long list of participating restaurants.”

Here is my thoughts. If the Disney Dining Plan says that it will save you up to 20% off and this will save you 20% off plus you can save on adult beverages, I think it will save money.

Here’s a list of participating restaurants:

DISNEY RESORT LOCATIONS
All Star Movies Resort

  • World Premiere
    Food Court

All Star MusicResort

  • Intermission Food Court

All Star Sports Resort

  • End Zone Food Court

Animal Kingdom
Lodge Resort

  • Boma – The Flavors
    of Africa
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place
  • Sanaa
  • Victoria Falls

Beach Club Resort

  • Beaches & Cream
    Soda Shop (excludes
    take-out shop)
  • Cape May Café
  • Martha’s Vineyard Lounge

BoardWalk Resort

  • Belle Vue Lounge
  • Big River Grille
    & Brewing Works
  • ESPN® Club
  • Flying Fish Café
  • Kouzzina by Cat Cora

Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Shutters at Old Point Royale

Contemporary Resort

  • California Grill
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • Outer Rim
  • The Wave

Coronado Springs Resort

  • Maya Grill
Fort Wilderness
Resort & Campground

  • Crockett’s Tavern
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (9:30 p.m.
    show only)
  • Trail’s End Restaurant (Excludes take out shop)

Grand Floridian
Resort & Spa

  • 1900 Park Fare
  • Citricos
  • Garden View Tea Room
  • Grand Floridian Café
  • Mizner’s Lounge
  • Narcoossee’s
  • Victoria & Albert’s (excluding the Chef’s Table & Queen Victoria Room)

Old Key West Resort

  • Olivia’s Cafe

Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course

  • Sand Trap Bar & Grill

Polynesian Resort

  • ‘Ohana
  • Kona Cafe
  • Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (Late show only)
  • Tambu Lounge

Pop Century Resort

  • Everything Pop Shopping and Dining (excludes merchandise from shop)
Port Orleans Resort
– French Quarter

  • Sassagoula Floatworks
    & Food Factory
  • Scat Cat’s Club

– Riverside

  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall
  • River Roost

Saratoga Springs Resort

  • The Artist’s Palette
  • The Turf Club Bar & Grill
  • Turf Club Lounge

Vero Beach Resort

  • The Green Cabin Room
  • Shutter’s
  • Sonya’s (Excludes
    Sunday Brunch)

Wilderness Lodge

  • Artist Point
  • Territory Lounge
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe

Yacht Club Resort

  • Ale and Compass Lounge
  • Captain’s Grille
  • Crews Cup Lounge
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort

  • Il Mulino New York Trattoria
  • Kimonos
  • Shula’s Steak House
  • Todd English’s bluezoo
  • Garden Grove
DISNEY PARK LOCATIONS
Magic Kingdom® Park

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • The Crystal Palace
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Tony’s Town
    Square Restaurant

Epcot®

  • Akershus Royal
    Banquet Hall
  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Bistro de Paris
  • Chefs de France
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Nine Dragons Restaurant
  • Restaurant Marrakesh
  • Rose & Crown Pub
    & Dining Room
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante
  • The Garden
    Grill Restaurant
  • Tokyo Dining
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante
  • Via Napoli

Disney’s Hollywood Studios™

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Mama Melrose’s
    Ristorante Italiano
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In
    Theater Restaurant
  • The Hollywood
    Brown Derby
  • Tune-In Lounge
Animal Kingdom®

  • Flame Tree Barbeque
  • Pizzafari
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Tusker House Restaurant

DOWNTOWN DISNEY®
– Marketplace

  • Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant
  • Fulton’s Crab House

DOWNTOWN DISNEY®
– Pleasure Island

  • Paradiso 37
  • Portobello
  • Raglan Road” Irish Pub
    and Restaurant

DOWNTOWN DISNEY®
– West side

  • Bongo’s Cuban Café
  • House Of Blues®
    (Excludes Sunday Brunch)
  • Planet Hollywood®
  • Wolfgang Puck Café

ESPN Wide World
of Sports® Complex

  • ESPN Wide World
    of Sports® Grill

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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Photographing Walt Disney World: How to Bring the Magic a Little Closer to Home

One of our Mouze Kateerz writers, Amanda Major (www.cheapskateprincess.com), is one of the best Disney photographers that I’ve seen. She captures Disney Magic with every picture. She is one of the largest picture contributors to Mouze Kateerz. Here is an article that she wrote several months ago that I thought was worth rerunning for more readers to enjoy. ~ Frances

By Amanda M.

Every photo has a story.

One reason I am so enamored with Walt Disney World is the wide range of photographic opportunities I find when I vacation there. Photography can be both a tremendously rewarding experience and a maker of memories, but on the other side, it can be a journey into frustration and disappointment. Images don’t always turn out in print like you see them through your eyes.  Sometimes, I look at my photos and think, “Ugh!! It didn’t look like that!”  What to do…

Picture this…As photography has moved away from print film to digital, we now have the opportunity to clean up and fix a lot of images that would look better with a little nip and tuck. One of my most useful photo editing tools, Picasa in my case,  is the crop button. Simple. Handy. Crop.

Mouze Kateerz fan Randy Ash from Bloomington, IL,  dropped a photo off on our wall at Mouze Kateerz on Facebook, and it was so beautiful, I had to see if there was an original.  Apparently Randy didn’t need to crop his photo a for a closer view- he just zoomed up on his subject. In keeping with my theme of every photo has a story,  there was indeed a great Disney tale attached with his photo…romance, relaxation, and vivid colors.  Here’s Randy’s photographical memory:

disney photography, The Disney Moms, Tree of Life photo, Animal Kingdom photosThis past May, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with our first trip back to WDW since our honeymoon … without the kids. We decided during the planning for the trip that we would set no schedule, eat when we wanted to…not just when we could spare a moment between attractions. We took the time to look for the details that we so often rushed past in search of a character signing or fast pass.

Every trip for us to WDW includes a morning at Animal Kingdom. First destination… The Tree of Life to see A Bug’s Life. As we worked our way towards the tree, we stopped to take this pic with the tree in the background.

The vivid color of the simple pink flower struck me so I decided to take a close up. “

Animal Kingdom, It's a Bugs life, Disney Photography, The Disney Moms, Animal Kingdom safari
“This close up has become one of my favorites from this trip. It is a good reminder to me to slow down and look for the detail, it is all part of the Magic!

Mouze Kateerz fan Randy Ash from Bloomington, IL

The personal thing about photography is that sometimes a photo will have no meaning or emotional attachment to anyone other than the photographer. The picture belongs to you; the special meaning is all your own. But this doesn’t diminish the beauty you can find in photographs, even if you really have no idea where the photo was taken.

Bonnet Creet Resort, Windham Bonnet Creek Resort, Hollywood Studios, Bonnet Creek photosHere is a photo I took in 2011 at Windham Bonnet Creek Resort on the other side of the highway from Disney‘s Hollywood Studios.Our first stay here was fabulous, and included hot dogs for Christmas Eve dinner (a new annual tradition) and a swim in the heated lazy river on Christmas Day.

I took several shots of a sunset as the clouds were rolling in on Dec. 26th, the day before we returned home. Most people will not recognize this as Bonnet Creek.

There are no Disney characters in the shot, no iconic Disney architecture or logos, so you won’t recognize the location, but you are drawn in all the same.

photography, Picasa photo editing, Picasa photography, Disney Picasa, photo cropping, Disney photography, The beautiful thing about this photo is that I didn’t do a thing to change the color. I just cut out the distracting clouds and focused on the closer beauty of an Orlando sunset. I then fought off depression by telling myself in that every sunset does notlook like this when you are three miles from the Magic Kingdom. I remain unconvinced; I somehow suspect actually they do.

So if you can’t zoom, then crop. A little nip here, and a little tuck there can take a good photo and bring it a little closer to home, both to your eye, and to your heart.

Thanks for coming along for a photographical ride, and we’ll see you around the Disney parks with a camera!

Amanda

Love Disney World photography? For a virtual Disney vacation in pictures, join Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.  If you have some fabulous Disney photographs you’d like to share, send an email of your favorite Disney location to mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

See ya soon!

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Be Our Guest Restaurant= More Magic

With the official grand opening of the Fantasyland Expansion being December 6, 2012… Disney magic has been gearing up for a some test runs. The Beast's Castle Disney, Beast's Castle photo, Beasts castle pictures, Be Our Guest menu, Fantasyland Expansion updatemuch anticipated Be Our Guest Restaurant will be opening to the general public officially on November 19th. It will be open with a Quick Service menu during lunch and a Table Service Menu for dinner. If you are on the Disney dining plan, it is one Quick Service credit during lunch and 1 table service credit during dinner.

One of the magical touches will be that you will order your ‘fast food’ lunch on touch-screen similiar to the ordering system at Pecos Bill’s. After you have paid, the cast member will give you an enchanted rose petal that you take with you to where ever you want to sit in the dining room. The server will magically find where you are sitting thanks to the enchanted rose petal!

Here is a glimpse at the dinner menu!

Dinner Menu

Signature Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Served in a Light Up Castle-themed Souvenir Goblet 18.99
Beverage only 4.19

All-Natural Fruit Punch
sweetened with Organic Cane Juice and Wildberry Extract topped with
Lemon-Lime Foam
-OR-
All-Natural Lemonade
sweetened with Organic Cane Juice and topped with a Wildberry Foam

Appetizers
Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages
served with Cornichons, Pickled Onions, and Toasted Baguette 14.99

French Onion Soup
topped with Crouton and Gruyere Cheese 6.99

Mussels Provencal
with White Wine, Tomato, Garlic, Onion, Basil, and Butter 10.99

Potato Leek Soup 5.99

Garden Salad
with Champagne Vinaigrette 4.99

Seasonal Salad Trio 6.99
Three individual bowls of:
Roasted Beet, Gold Raisin and Orange Salad
Green Bean, Tomato and Roasted Shallot Salad
Watermelon, Radish and Mint Salad

Entrées
All entrees include choice of dessert.

Thyme-scented Pork Rack Chop
with Au Gratin Pasta, Seasonal Vegetables and Red Wine Au Jus 21.99

Rotisserie Rock Hen
with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables 15.99

Pan-seared Salmon on Leek Fondue
served with Creamy Saffron-crushed Potatoes 15.99

Grilled Strip Steak
with Garlic Butter Spread and Pommes Frites 29.99

Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops
with Seasonal Vegetables served with Puff Pastry with a Creamy Lobster Sauce 22.99

Layered Ratatouille
Oven-baked Zucchini, Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Caramelized Onions sliced and layered on Quinoa served with Bell Pepper Sauce 15.99

Desserts
Presented and served table side! 3.99
Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake
Vanilla Sponge Cake, Strawberry Mousse Filling, and Cream Cheese Icing

Triple Chocolate Cupcake
Chocolate Sponge Cake, Chocolate Mousse Filling, and Chocolate Ganache

Lemon Meringue Cupcake
Vanilla Sponge Cake, Lemon Custard Filling, Flamed Meringue Icing, and Crunch

Chocolate Cream Puff
filled with Chocolate Mousse topped with Whipped Cream

Passion Fruit Cream Puff
filled with Passion Fruit Mousse topped with Whipped Cream

Lemon – Raspberry Cream Puff*
filled with Lemon Custard
*Dessert is Gluten Free and No Sugar Added

Beverages
Fountain Beverages 2.99
Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, CokeZero®, Barq’s® Root Beer, Fanta® Orange, Sprite®, Minute Maid® Lemonade

Fresh-brewed Coffee (regular or decaf) 2.59
Fresh-brewed Iced Tea 2.99
Hot Tea 2.59
Hot Cocoa 2.59

Milk or Chocolate Milk 3.09

Orange Juice, Apple Juice, or Cranberry Juice 3.19

Evian 750 mL or Perrier 750 mL 6.75

There still are special packages available for the Grand Opening of the Fantasyland Expansion. Please contact our preferred travel agency Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys.  frances@distinctive-journeys.com  or 404-414-6198

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A Girls’s Weekend with Your Best Friend= Disney Magic

Aloha!!!

Aloha means hello and goodbye…. I couldn’t think of a more perfect resort to stay in WDW than the Polynesian for my dear childhood pal Kathy and me to stay . We said hello back in second grade and instantly became life-long best friends and needed to geographically say goodbye almost 10 years ago due to job relocations, marriages, etc. although contact had remainded through emails and phone calls. A recent play of cancelled travel events and a decision to enjoy a mutual Significant Birthday Celebration for us both led its reunion and celebration journey not to the familiar New Jersey beaches we once shared happy days upon, but to the door of Disney World in Florida. This trip to WDW was a true celebration of friendship.

With all of the magnificent themed resorts at Walt Disney World it was quite the challenge to pick the “perfect” place for our Girl’s Reunion and “Significant Birthday Celebration Trip” last week! The Polynesian was the the one for us. Transporting you instantly to the South Pacific setting of lush gardens and waterfalls and softly played Hawaiian music everywhere you go. The main building upon arrival is the Great Ceremonial House with its own tropical gardens and waterfall right in the center – this is where you check in. The resort consists of eleven different buildings called “Longhouses”. Each Longhouse has a unique tropical name and each is surrounded by lush gardens.

We chose to stay Club Level for our trip. (this is the concierge level). We booked a garden view room – outside our balcony stood the most beautiful palm tree we have ever seen!

Upon arrival you are presented with a beautiful lei and staying club level you are wisked away in a golf cart from the main building given a tour of the resort and then are taken to the longhouse“Hawaii”. This longhouse is located at the Volcano pool and a beautiful white sandy beach overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon.

The staff at concierge were extremely friendly, courteous and efficient. After check-in we were presented with yet another beautiful lei and wishes for a wonderful stay! We were escorted to the third floor to our beautiful BIG garden view room. The rooms here at the Polynesian are quite large in comparison to other Disney resorts as The Polynesian was one of the first resorts built at WDW. A noted feature is it’s amazing central location and transportation availability to parks with monorail and boat access. Guests staying club level have access a beautiful lounge . Daily lounge offerings bountied with several flavored coffee, teas and juice selections during continental breakfast in the morning, fresh fruits and cookies during the day and light hors d’oeurvres and hot appetizers in the early evening to include wines and cordials among favorite sampling of desserts that were offered later in the evening.

The Concierge Lounge has a three story wall of windows facing the Magic Kingdom and lagoon with a perfect view of Cinderella’s Castle. Each night guests gather here to enjoy viewing the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle – with the firework display music piped into the room directly from the Magic Kingdom.. We so enjoyed relaxing here each evening after a busy day exploring each park… Truly Magical!!!!!!!

ncluded into this easy chair view of the fireworks is the 9pm Electrical Water Pageant that passes right by the Polynesian on the lagoon!!! A beautiful way to end each amazing day at the parks sitting on the beach or sipping hot chocolate in the lounge!!!!!

This was my friend Kathy’s first trip to my favorite place and I think it has become one of her favorite places to visit now also!! We spent our first morning at Animal Kingdom. The Animal Safari Trek was so exciting. To be so up close and personal with the animals is beyond explanation. I will always treasure my memory of the magnificent lion who was surveying his domain from on top of a huge rock formation. We took in the Lion King Show that day also. Kathy was taken aback by the grandeur of the costumes and glorious music that produced this colorful breathtaking performance.

On our second day we visited The Magic Kingdom. Can you remember the first time that you stepped onto Main Street USA???? Think back, it feels like a great big hug just wrapping you in happiness and excitement. The Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, Buzz Lightyear, and Pirates of the Caribbean were just a few of our favorites. Even seeing an outside street performance from the one and only “Capt. Jack Sparrow” up close and personal. After a quick lunch we headed back by boat to the Polynesian. We had dinner reservations at The Artist Point in Wilderness Lodge. If you have never experienced dinner here – it is a must!!! The cuisine is absolutely fabulous. I had a special order cake made for Kathy’s birthday and during dessert our server brought it out to her. The pastry chefs are true artisans and the cake was delicious!!! What a perfect way to end such an amazing dinner. After dinner it was just a hop –skip – and a jump back to the Polynesian for a quick change then on the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom for The Main Street Electrical Parade. This is a spectacle of lights and sounds like you have never seen. Float after float of your favorite Disney characters waving and dancing in the streets. Later that evening we found ourselves right in front of Cinderella’s Castle, directly in front of the bronzed statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse watching the grandest fireworks display set to music that we have ever seen. Truly an amazing sight.

Off to Hollywood Studios the next day. I so wanted to share with her Toy Story Mania. We raced over to the ride and waited 40 minutes. So glad we did – we laughed through the attraction the whole time. Such fun!!!! A trip to Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride rounded out our day. Thought we would leave the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster to the less faint of heart!!!!

EPCOT – of course, SOARIN first on the agenda!!! The sights and sounds and aromas of this experience are totally off the charts!!!!! As we were walking around we could hear “Mine – Mine – Mine” with our curiosity peaked we found ourselves at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.. Seagulls greeted us at the entrance with their call of “mine” and we ventured onto a Clam Shell fit for two for an undersea adventure with Nemo and his friends which brought both the real world of the sea and the fantasy world of Nemo. Dinosaurs???? Who doesn’t like dinosaurs???? Ellen’s Universe of Energy was our next stop of the day…. You are taken back in time to roam with all types of dinosaurs and saw how the earth’s energy began and how we continue to strive for a better tomorrow.

Included into this easy chair view of the fireworks is the 9pm Electrical Water Pageant that passes right by the Polynesian on the lagoon!!! A beautiful way to end each amazing day at the parks sitting on the beach or sipping hot chocolate in the lounge!!!!!

This was my friend Kathy’s first trip to my favorite place and I think it has become one of her favorite places to visit now also!! We spent our first morning at Animal Kingdom. The Animal Safari Trek was so exciting. To be so up close and personal with the animals is beyond explanation. I will always treasure my memory of the magnificent lion who was surveying his domain from on top of a huge rock formation. We took in the Lion King Show that day also. Kathy was taken aback by the grandeur of the costumes and glorious music that produced this colorful breathtaking performance.

On our second day we visited The Magic Kingdom. Can you remember the first time that you stepped onto Main Street USA???? Think back, it feels like a great big hug just wrapping you in happiness and excitement. The Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, Buzz Lightyear, and Pirates of the Caribbean were just a few of our favorites. Even seeing an outside street performance from the one and only “Capt. Jack Sparrow” up close and personal. After a quick lunch we headed back by boat to the Polynesian. We had dinner reservations at The Artist Point in Wilderness Lodge. If you have never experienced dinner here – it is a must!!! The cuisine is absolutely fabulous. I had a special order cake made for Kathy’s birthday and during dessert our server brought it out to her. The pastry chefs are true artisans and the cake was delicious!!! What a perfect way to end such an amazing dinner. After dinner it was just a hop –skip – and a jump back to the Polynesian for a quick change then on the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom for The Main Street Electrical Parade. This is a spectacle of lights and sounds like you have never seen. Float after float of your favorite Disney characters waving and dancing in the streets. Later that evening we found ourselves right in front of Cinderella’s Castle, directly in front of the bronzed statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse watching the grandest fireworks display set to music that we have ever seen. Truly an amazing sight.

Off to Hollywood Studios the next day. I so wanted to share with her Toy Story Mania. We raced over to the ride and waited 40 minutes. So glad we did – we laughed through the attraction the whole time. Such fun!!!! A trip to Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride rounded out our day. Thought we would leave the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster to the less faint of heart!!!!

EPCOT – of course, SOARIN first on the agenda!!! The sights and sounds and aromas of this experience are totally off the charts!!!!! As we were walking around we could hear “Mine – Mine – Mine” with our curiosity peaked we found ourselves at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.. Seagulls greeted us at the entrance with their call of “mine” and we ventured onto a Clam Shell fit for two for an undersea adventure with Nemo and his friends which brought both the real world of the sea and the fantasy world of Nemo. Dinosaurs???? Who doesn’t like dinosaurs???? Ellen’s Universe of Energy was our next stop of the day…. You are taken back in time to roam with all types of dinosaurs and saw how the earth’s energy began and how we continue to strive for a better tomorrow.

Across the lake in EPCOT you will find World Showcase… We set off for our little tour of the countries at EPCOT. The cast members in each country are from that area of the world. You get a true sense of what it is like to visit and live through their eyes. We so enjoyed our tour checking out each and every one comparing the different cultures and wares of each. We had dinner in Italy at Tutto Italia – what a wonderful time!! I felt like I was back in my grandmother’s dining room totally enjoying a most delicious plate of lasagna and cannoli’s for dessert. When the servers realized we were both celebrating a birthday they surprised us with a rousing song of Happy Birthday in Italian and each birthday girl was presented with a beautiful cupcake with a lit candle to blow out– oh yes and I cannot forget our after dinner cordial, Lemoncello, made directly from their represented region of Italy, outstanding in originality!!!!!!

Each evening EPCOT puts on a magnificent firework/lightshow on the lake between Future World and World Showcase. This is a show that will positively give you chills. The Illuminations and music is overwhelming. A perfect way to end an amazing time at EPCOT.

Polynesian Resort Disney waterfall, Polynesian Resort Lobby

As in all fairytales there is a beginning and an ending. So our Once Upon A Time came to an end full of new happy memories to go along with all those of the past. The ones that made us smile and laugh over our long extended weekend we were there together. Two old friends who got to be kids we once were again. No matter what your age while at Disney World time stands still and you are young at heart once more.

As we discovered, Disney and its Magic holds many charms, wishes and discoveries for all ages. It was within a matter of hours that we began to discover a light heartedness overtaking us. The transport of oneself back into a childhood as an adult, is one I strongly recommend for friends, sisters or siblings. It is an awakening of the magic that Walt understood. The living magic not limited to age but into finding the renewed child within ourselves no matter what the age that somehow is lost by everyday life.

Powerful emotions of saying goodbye to our time together overwhelmed and surprised both of us. We were both returning to our homes miles apart but feeling renewed by Walt and his timeless vision. Thankyou Mr. Disney, Thankyou!

We are already talking about when we can go back and enjoy all of the Magic all over again!!!!

Mouzing around Disney’s Beach Club

Enjoy a stroll around Disney’s Beach Club

Every photo has a story.

Walt Disney World is a busy place during the holidays. That’s probably an understatement; it’s an amazingly busy place.

Picture this…there are 12,213 parking spots in the Magic Kingdom parking lot.  If you don’t arrive to claim your parking spot by about 10 a.m. on Christmas morning, you’ll be out of luck, because that’s about the time the parking lot fills up.  If you’re a Disney night-owl like me, and you can’t catch that 7 a.m. wake up call, where to go now?

Head on over to Disney’s Beach Club Resort.  The Beach Club models the architecture of 20th century mid-Atlantic resorts, showcasing pastel colors, intricate woodwork, and a relaxing beachy charm.  If you decide you just need to ride some roller coasters, you are within walking distance of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The Beach Club Resort is the creation of architect Robert A. M. Stern, the master also responsible for designing the Disney’s Boardwalk  Resort, Disney’s Newport Bay Resort, and the Cheyenne Resort in Disneyland Paris.

A must-see Disney holiday decoration is front and center in the lobby of the Beach Club.  Here you will find an amazing gingerbread carousel, featuring ponies made of yummy chocolate and fondant, giant candy canes, and hand-painted portraits of Disney Characters.  It’s a culinary-artwork sight to behold.

Now make your way down the resort stairs to the Disney BoardWalk entertainment district and out to Crescent Lake.  You can walk the entire circumference of the lake at a leisurely pace in about 20 minutes.  One memorable stopping point is a small lighthouse at the end of a narrow causeway overlooking the Beach Club itself.  But be warned, because if you stop at some of the merchandise stores or restaurants, this sight-seeing walk could take a bit more time.  There’s also classic midway games, occasional street performers,  dancing at the Atlantic Dance Hall, or you can enjoy a “dueling pianos” show at Jellyroll’s.

The Magic Kingdom is still pretty busy. You have plenty of time for another lap around the lake.

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride!

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Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com