Seeing Disney From A New Perspective

EpcotI don’t have a lot of free time on my hands these days but when I do get a little time, I begin to imagine what it will be like living 24 miles from Walt Disney World.
On our most recent trip to Florida to find a home, I saw a Disney Magical Express bus and realized, I won’t be riding that bus anymore! In case you don’t know, Magical Express is the Disney-provided transportation from the Orlando International Airport to your Disney resort. It didn’t really bother me that I won’t be on that bus anymore since our new home is so close. I’ve always had this like/dislike relationship with Magical Express anyway. I liked it when I arrived and it was whisking us off to start our vacation, but I really disliked the bus when it was picking us up to return to the airport and go home.
There are a few things I’ll miss about planning my Disney vacations.
I’ll miss choosing a resort to stay at and I’ll miss the midday breaks we would take at the resort to go back and swim. I’ll also miss the anticipation and countdowns we always did to our Disney vacations.
But instead, we’ll have countdowns to the visits from our children and grandchildren, friends and family! We’ll also get to experience every season in Disney! I won’t have to go years without seeing the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. And I don’t have to wonder every year if I’ll get to the International Food and Wine Festival. I can spend my birthday in Disney every year.
I also won’t have to worry about how I’m going to get something home that I want to purchase. I won’t have to miss our dog, Tinkerbell. And if we spend a long day at the parks, I can take her to Best Friends Pet Care Center for the day! It’s located right near the Port Orleans resorts and is open an hour before the parks open and it closes an hour after the parks close, so I can drop her off on our way to the parks and pick her up after we finish!
I could flip a coin to decide which park to go to that day. Or I could park hop and go to all of them in the same day. We could go to the parks just for dinner and fireworks! We can track points we accumulate at Buzz Light Year and Toy Story Mania and have monthly competitions!
And if I take another Disney Cruise, we’re just a short half hour drive to Port Canaveral!
So as the list of “benefits” keeps growing in my mind, I think about, and am grateful for the one thing I will not have to do ever again.
Shovel snow!

The New Fantasyland Opens in Walt Disney World

Cinderella’s is no longer the only castle on the block when you visit Walt Disney World. Just beyond it, on a rock-covered hill surrounded by woods and waterfalls, is Beast’s Castle, the icon of the New Fantasyland.

Inside the castle is Disney’s newest and now largest restaurant – Be Our Guest Restaurant, which has quick service dining for lunch and table service dining for dinner. If you’re looking to make a table service reservation for this restaurant, be prepared to make it 6 months in advance as it has quickly become one of the most sought-after dining reservations in Walt Disney World.

Next to Beast’s Castle is an attraction called Enchanted Tales with Belle. From the outside it just looks like a meet and greet attraction but it’s more of a storytelling adventure. Guests walk through Maurice’s workshop and then an enchanted mirror turns into a doorway that takes you into a room where a talking wardrobe and a Disney Cast Member begin to assign parts to each child (and a couple of adults). After all the parts are cast, you’ll move into the Library, where along with Lumiere and Belle, guests participate in a re-telling of the Tale As Old as Time. Afterward, a Disney Photograph Photographer is available to take your picture with Belle.

Just beyond Beast’s Castle is Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. And that is exactly what it is, a journey. A walkway into the grotto takes you deep down under until you arrive at the sea where you board your clam shell to ride through the story of The Little Mermaid. When you’re finished you can go right next door to Ariel’s Grotto – a meet-and-greet attraction with Ariel.
Another area of the New Fantasyland – Storybook Circus- is the home of not one but two Dumbo the Flying Elephant rides! One serves as the Standby line and the other is only for Fast Pass riders. The Barnstormer was also relocated to this area. A water splash area called Casey Jr. Splash and Soak is a fun way to cool off on a hot day.
These attractions are now all open and but construction is not complete.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled to open in 2014. Guests will board a mine car and travel through a story that focuses primarily on the Seven Dwarfs.
The New Fantasyland is the largest expansion to the Magic Kingdom in the park’s 41-year history.

Disney Launches 2011 Theme

Walt Disney World announced Thursday that it’s theme for 2011 is “Let The Memories Begin.” With the focus being on making memories at Disney parks, Disney will be accepting photos and video clips of your favorite Disney memory caught on tape. They’re already running some in their TV commercials and they’re a delight to watch as several children are surprised in various ways about their upcoming Disney vacation.
The company also plans to use clips submitted by guests to project pictures and video above Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World and in It’s a Small World in Disneyland every evening in 2011.
This is a great theme for Disney to launch because Disney vacations are all about making memories. I have pictures all over my house that remind me of the Disney memories we’ve made over the years. And although my daughters are older now, it’s still the only destination that I know we will all spend the week together having fun and creating new memories.
For more information on submitting your memories, go to:
http://memories.disneyparks.disney.go.com

Sharon Spohn is a travel agent with Liberty Travel in the Coventry Mall, Pottstown, PA. She can be reached at spohns@libertytravel.com or 610-327-8400.