Shop Disney Parks App-Most Dangerous App Ever?

If you have an affinity for Disney merchandise and a smart phone, then the answer is “yes, it just might be”, at least in terms of your wallet.  Disney released the Shop Disney Parks app in mid-August for use on Android and Apple smart phones.  This free app is available in your device’s app store; I initially had a little difficulty downloading the app (an error message about the script) but was successful on the second try.  I thought I would run you through the basics and give you my opinion of its performance.

As the title of the app implies, this little online store gives you access to Disney Parks merchandise.  What I love about this app already is that it features products that I have not been able to find on the regular Disney Store website.  I’ve been working on my family’s costumes for this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  We love the Haunted Mansion attraction and decided to dress in that theme for the party this year.  I was interested in purchasing the Ghost Host tees for my husband and I and was able to easily find the male version of that shirt on the Disney Store online.  However, the female Ghost Host shirt was missing from the site.  A quick Google search revealed the female shirt available for purchase on Amazon if you are a) a size Medium, and b) willing to shell out $65, of which I am neither.  Ebay didn’t fare much better so I was resigned to do without.  Much to my extreme delight, I immediately found the shirt I wanted on the Shop Disney Parks app in both the size I needed and at a much more reasonable price (by Disney merchandise standards, anyway).

When you open the app, you will see this screen:

Opening app screen

Opening app screen

It allows you to scroll down to see 4-5 featured items.  On the top left, you see the little magnifying glass search icon that allows you to enter your search terms.

Search screen

Search screen

For my purchase, I searched for “haunted mansion” items and received 141 options.  You can use the filter key to the top right if you’d like to narrow down your search but I actually scrolled through to check them all out.  When you select a clothing item, you can scroll down to select from the available colors and sizes.

Screenshot_2015-08-25-09-12-55

This is where it gets cool.  The three blue buttons below the item allow for you to “Add to bag” which you will do if you have more shopping to do, “Order Now” if this is the only product you need, or “Find on Map.”  This is a really neat feature that I can’t wait to try when I’m at Disney World in October.  When you are in a Walt Disney World park, you may search for your item and then select “Find on Map” to see from which store this item can be purchased.  I’ve seen several posts about guests being so disappointed because they never found such and such after searching all of the stores on their visit.  This app should eliminate those issues.  Your kiddo suddenly has to have that Stitch plush?  Boom, find it on the app, and then use the map to track it down.  Screenshot_2015-08-25-12-31-09

Now, let’s get back to my experience using the app.  I selected my shirt and went to my shopping bag.  I was given the option to “review and purchase.”  At that point, I was instructed to sign in using my ‘My Disney Experience” account information.  You are given the opportunity to create an account if you don’t already have one.  Once you sign in, you can enter your shipping and payment information (or it will automatically enter for you if you have this info saved to your MDE account; you will be asked for your saved credit card’s security code).  The one bummer about this is the shipping.  There are no options to change shipping type (for expedited service, for instance) and there is no discount for purchasing a certain amount of product (like on the Disney Store online, in which you can often receive free shipping if you purchase at least $75 worth of merchandise).  Once you agree to the Merchandise Return Policy, you click the green “Purchase” button and you’re done!

Almost immediately after my purchase, I received my confirmation email.  Three days later, I received an email indicating my shirt had shipped and the tracking link so I could obsess about my package.  Five days after that, I had my shirt in my hands!  Not a bad turn around time if you ask me.  My package arrived in the typical brown, nondescript box.  The shirt itself was wrapped in cutie-patootie Disney tissue paper.  The box also contained a note thanking me for the purchase and the larger merchandise return form.  A separate shipping receipt was also included.  Overall, this was a super easy process and I was beyond excited to receive my shirt after previously thinking I would be missing out.

My cute little package all wrapped up in Disney tissue.

My cute little package all wrapped up in Disney tissue.

Thank you note

Thank you note

Return form

Return form

My shirt, My shirt!

My shirt, My shirt!

One last thing:  The other super cool feature that I can’t wait to try out is the barcode scanner.  On the home page of the app, you’ll notice at the top a small barcode. Screenshot_2015-08-25-09-09-54Once opened, this will allow you to scan an item you find in the park and purchase the item in the app.  Why is this useful? Have you ever been inside a park store and saw THE souvenir, but it was fragile, huge, or otherwise inappropriate for air travel?  This feature on the app will allow you to purchase THE souvenir and have it shipped directly to your home.  Bypass the awkward packing dilemma and get that baby on its way to you before you even leave Orlando.  Eureka!

My plan is to do a follow up to this article after my visit in October so that I can update you on both the “Find on Map” feature and the barcode scanner.  In the meantime, feel free to contact me at any time for more information or to assist you in booking your next vacation!  You can find me on Facebook at Magical Vacations by Tracy or email at tracy@magicalvacationsbyme.com.  You can also follow me on Instagram HERE.  See you soon!

Tracy PhotoTracy Hurdle is a work-at-home mother of one and a former social worker turned travel agent.  She’s always had a love of travel planning and couldn’t be happier at being given the opportunity to do so on a broader scale with families just like yours.

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How my daughter saves for Disney!

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By Frances

My family goes to Disney more than the average family. We travel to the Disney resorts & the Disney Cruise Line at least 3 times a year. Most years a few more. My 8 year old daughter doesn’t need any souvenir. Her closet is full of clothes. If one more stuffed animal comes into the house….. Well, you get the drift. When she was 6 years old, we stopped buying her souvenirs and we made her purchase all of her own souvenirs. We had several trials and errors on how to allow her to save some money. How do we make the chores worth the money but not too easy but easy enough?

We started with $5 per week if she does XYZ and she has to do XYZ. All or nothing. That didn’t last long. It was too rigid.

Then all chores were worth 50 cents. Well, she would make $12 a week or more because she did all the easy stuff and none of the tougher items.

Here is what we have settled on:

Cleaning her room, making her bed and bringing her laundry to the laundry room and putting away her clean clothes properly are not chores that she is paid for. We feel that she should do those things because she is part of the family.

All other chores are worth 25 cents to 75 cents. Some she can early daily. Others she has a max on how many times a week she can do them to earn money.

Here is a sample:Minnie Mouse doll

Cat Duty: Feed him & give him fresh water 25 cents (daily)

Cat Duty: Clean the litter box 25 cents (daily)

Bathroom: Clean tub & floor 75 cents (2x per week)

Bathroom: Clean toilet & sink 50 cents (3x per week)

Assist with Dishes 25 cents (daily) we don’t have a dishwasher

Clean TV Room: 75 cents (3x per week)

Clean School Room/Office: 25 cents (3 x per week)

Assist with laundry (other than her own): 10 cents – $1

We also have a “Sass Tax” where she can lose money for misbehaving or sassing back to us. It starts at 10 cents.

She is allowed to use this money for things other than Disney. She saved to earn a Katniss doll, extra scoop of ice cream etc.

We keep track of all her money on her chore chart. Each sticker is worth 25 cents unless other wise noted.

We know there a tons of ways to teach our kids responsibility. Here is the way that works for us.

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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!
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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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Quick Service Breakfasts on the Disney Dining Plan

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By Melissa L.

With so many people taking advantage of the free Disney Dining Plan promotions each year, a lot of questions seem to pop up about counter service options in Walt Disney World.  Breakfast seems to be the most sought after quick meal (and I don’t blame you, I love to eat but I don’t let food come between me and my park time either)!

I find that it is much easier to snack a breakfast than to grab a quick service one, as aside from food courts the best options tend to be bakeries that offer muffins and other pastries that can utilize snack credits.  You can also get coffee, tea, juice, and water here.  In the long run it may work in your favor to “snack” breakfasts and save your counter service credits for bigger meals!

Here’s a quick overview of counter service stops in the parks:

Magic Kingdom – Main Street Bake Shop is my fave choice for breakfast here.  Currently there are no quick service breakfasts offered at the Magic Kingdom restaurants, however, snacking one of the tempting selections here is a great choice (and this may change with the opening of the new Fanstasyland expansion)!

Epcot – Boulangerie Patisserie in World Showcase is my fave choice and they offer both snack and quick service options for all meals.  You can also grab a quick service breakfast at Electric Umbrella and  Sunshine Seasons in Future World.

Hollywood Studios – Starring Rolls is not only your best choice in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, its the only breakfast-offering stop!

Animal Kingdom – Kusafiri Coffe Shop or Tamu Tamu Refreshments are your best choice here, although both take snack credits and not counter service ones and the menus do change.

Don’t forget almost ALL Walt Disney World Resort Hotels offer a food court of some sort and Disney changes things up sometimes based on crowds so you may find a coffee cart or that you can grab a quick service meal in places that you though were only snackable!  While some require you to leave your hotel to grab a meal, this is an important fact to check up on before you plan your meals!

Happy Touring (& eating)!

When Melissa 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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Why I Love Epcot’s Mouse Gears

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By Melissa L.

By far, my favorite shop in all of Epcot and arguably all of the Walt Disney World parks is Mouse Gear.  It is the largest shop in Epcot and really I find myself wanting to skip Downtown Disney when I am staying in the Epcot Resort Area since you can find a little bit of everything here!  My favorite Mouse Gear story came this Fall when I decided to grab two vinylmations: Star Wars (hoping for Darth Vader) and Pirates (hoping for Captain Jack) and as luck and Disney magic would have it I scored both!

Without the Hollywood Boulevard or Main Street shop set up this is vital to Epcot and worth a trip of its own! The store is set up in sections as you wind your way through.  You will find:

  • All kinds of toys for kids of all ages
  • Disney World Souvenirs (including dated)
  • Apparel for the entire family (including a large ear hat section)
  • Disney Trading Pins & Vinylmation
  • Candy, Snacks, and novelty foods
  • Picture frames and Collectibles
  • Seasonal merchandise
  • Epcot themed merchandise and apparel
  • Cookware and Kitchenware
  • And much more!

While the areas change and don’t always have the largest selection on property you will find this is an Epcot one stop shop! There are also great ways to save here:

  • Disney Visa Cardmembers can enjoy their 10% discount on most merchandise orders $50 or more here
  • During busy times it has been reported that quick service dining receipts have also featured 10% off coupons

With so many specialty shops in the World Showcase, Land, Seas, and Imagination pavilions this is a great stop for a less crowded store with lots of selection!

Have you ever been to Mouse Gears, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

When Melissa 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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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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Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys will be in Springfield, MO

Monday October 22, 2012, Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys will be at an Early Bird Holiday Shopping Event with multiple other vendors in Springfield, MO. If you are near by please stop by and plan your next magical vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise line or Adventures by Disney. If you RSVP to frances@distinctive-journeys.com by Monday morning October 22nd, you will receive a special gift.

Event Location:

Panera Bread Company

500 South National Avenue

Springfield, Missouri

6pm-8:45pm CDT

Several vendors with lots of giveaways, including Thirty-One gifts, Tupperware, Mary Kay, Usborne Books, Celebrating Home, Party Lite and your Disney Travel Specialist. Bring a guest and get an extra entry into giveaways!

Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys will be giving away a model of the Disney Dream.

There are some appointments available prior to the event and the morning of Tuesday October 23rd. Please contact Frances @404-414-6198 to make your appointment.

 

 

Disney World Guidebook Round Up

By Melissa L.

With such a huge costumer base, it is no wonder that there are entire shelves in bookstores dedicated to Disney World Travel Guides as well as website companions that offer online subscriptions to the company’s best planning tools.  How do you make your way through the stack in order to find which is best for you? Use the guide below to find what resources you are looking for in order to make the perfect pre-trip purchase for you!

Books

Most fun and personalized: Passporter

What makes the Passporter guide book my go to choice is the fun I have filling it up with personal information.  The moment after I book my next Disney World trip the first thing I do is order the most current Passporter! I pour over the pages for hours before planning trips, going over ever detail, adding every last minute that I have planned to my pass pockets and updating all of our personal trip information.  I am a Passporter addict! I even used leftover pockets on my honeymoon!

This innovative guide has excellent descriptions of the hotels, attractions, and restaurants at Walt Disney World, as well as, ratings and worksheets that help make your trip planning fun.  What I love about Passporter is that I can hold onto my guidebook as a memento after our trips and flipping through it feels reminiscent of flipping through a scrapbook or photo album.  The deluxe version is fabulous and they offer updated refills each year as well as Disneyland Resort refills.

Most comprehensive: The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

To use the singular of Unofficial Guide does not do this line of books justice.  Not only is the original namesake filled with a plethora of Disney Planning information for planning your vacation from beginning to end, but there are multiple companions which include a color companion, guide specifically for traveling with kids, one for traveling without kids, one for traveling around other parks in Orlando, and editions for Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.

Best quick look for Disney pros: Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World

I have found myself with a small collection of Birnbaum guides over the years.  Planning a Disney trip is exciting and for some reason I usually find myself with a copy of this at some point in my planning.  It’s usually under $10, and I find it great as a guide when I am planning out where to eat or what new attractions to look forward to.  I carried it in my work bag for two months before our last trip.  It is slim and had lots of quick descriptions which are great for skimming through on a lunch break or when I have a few minutes here or there.

Best pictures: The Complete Walt Disney World

Like the other guides featured here, this has great descriptions and reviews of the parks, restaurants, hotels, and attractions to be found at Walt Disney World.  Unlike the other guides here this is so chock full of photos you may find yourself lost in a day dream before you make it through the first 20 pages.  There is so much not just to read, but to see in this book that its hard to resist once you take a peek inside!   There is also a really neat section that is a Disney encyclopedia of sorts called “Disney A to Z”!

Online Subscriptions

This is the digital age, so while there are plenty of books out there on the topic of Walt Disney World, there are also tons of websites out there  filled with Disney planning information.  There are also a small handful of online SUBSCRIPTIONS where you pay for a span of time to use a website’s own planning tools.  The Passporter guidebook has a company website which offers monthly access to their Passporter’s Club in which you can view any of their many available e-books for free.  This is great for getting companion information to their guide book.

Most fun, personalized, and comprehensive: Tour Guide Mike

Tour Guide Mike is a personal favorite as far as planning tools.  You begin by filling out a survey about your trip plans and aver a few minutes your Automated Vacation Planner is prepared for you with personalized trip planning information to fit you and your family’s needs.  It is amazing how spot-on the tour and dining recommendations can be! Furthermore, you can add reminders for making Advanced Dining Reservations, later on add your confirmation numbers, and are privy to being able to access the loads and loads of vacation planning articles on the website.  My very favorite feature: The Least Crowded Park Charts! They rock and are incredibly accurate! I plan my park days based around these recommendations and they are constantly updated if changes come from Disney!

Best quick look for Disney pros: Touring PlansDisney Wishes, disney photography, Picasa, Disney, Magic Kingdom photos, fireworks, Photoshop, photo editing

From the makers of the Unofficial Guides, Touring Plans is a site focused mainly on, well, Touring Plans! Here you can find comprehensive plans for touring all Disney parks as well as another super-accurate park chart.  The Touring Plans Crowd Calendar not only makes suggestions as to which parks to visit or avoid each and every day (for up to a year in advance) but you are also giving estimates on how crowded Disney will be!   Whatsmore, your Touring Plans subscription (available for Walt Disney World, Disneyland or both) allows you the ability to login to the smartphone app which gives you up to date and accurate ride lines and wait times!

What is your favorite guide? Did it make the roundup? Let me know in the comments below!!

When Melissa 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.