Early Morning Magic at Toy Story Land

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I did it. I got up at 5:30 am, and was walking into Hollywood Studios before 7 am to enjoy Early Morning Magic (EMM) at Toy Story Land! EMM is an extra ticketed event on select days. The ticket is $79 plus tax (you also must have park admission) This includes early entry to Toy Story Land and breakfast. The tickets do have to be purchased in advance which you can do so on MyDisneyExperience.com however we only booked a week in advance.

So in this post I’m going to let you know how we enjoyed EMM however I have heard a lot of different stories who had the same luck we had but also heard others who didn’t so take this post as you will but I do think we just had good luck on our morning of EMM.

5:30 am: We woke up (barely) to get ready. Which really meant we got moving at 5:45 am ha but we were out of our room at 6:30 and calling for a Minnie Van.

(You can call a Minnie Van from the Lyft app, this is an additional charge but you are also paying for convenience) The buses are running at this time but we just thought it would be easier.

7:00 am: We were walking into Hollywood Studios and they were guiding us over to the ABC Commissary where we would have breakfast however a little after 7 we were hearing an announcement that Andy’s Backyard was open so we quickly said breakfast can wait and made a speed walk over to Toy Story Land! We ended up walking in right behind the cast members to open the land.

7:10 am: We were the first ones riding Slinky Dog of the day! (GOALS!) We got off and got right back on! After that we road Alien’s Swirling Saucers, we could of rode that again but decided not to (literally they said we could just stay buckled if you wanted to ha), we were then heading over to meet Woody & Jessie, I spotted the photo pass cast member but they weren’t there yet but sure enough I spotted them making their way over so we ended up being first in line to meet them! (I’m telling you LUCK!) We then road Toy Story Mania, I lost again but what’s new. After that we got in line to meet Buzz maybe 5 minute wait!

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8:00 am: Do we ride everything again? Or go enjoy the breakfast that’s included? Breakfast. We made our way back to the ABC Commissary which was now practically empty because everyone else made their way to TSL. You ordered a “meal” when you first walked in and then from there they had a buffet of assorted pastries, fruits, cereal, yogurt parfaits, as well as juices and coffee. I say “meal” because they were smaller portions.

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The meal options were:

Mexican Corn Chilaquiles and Egg Bowl

Shrimp and Southern Grits Bowl

Fried Chicken and Cinnamon Sugar French Doughnut Bowl

Breakfast Charcuterie Platter

Smashed Avocado Toast and Egg Plate

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We enjoyed the Smashed Avocado Toast and Egg Plate which was very good, I did want to try the Fried Chicken and Cinnamon Sugar French Doughnut Bowl because that just sounds SO good but I didn’t want something so heavy at the beginning of a park day.

9:00 am: The park is now open, we decided we were going to get over to Rockin’ Rollercoaster for when it opened and we were able to ride that with a very short wait! 

My advice to get the most for you money would be to head to Toy Story Land when you first get there, and then enjoy breakfast after you and see and do all the things. All and all we really enjoyed Early Morning Magic and felt like it was worth the money for us, but would definitely get pricey if you were enjoying this experience with your whole family. 

This is a different experience than Extra Magic Hours that are offered if you are staying on Disney Property, these crowds are much lower as they should be since this is an extra paid ticket. They do offer Early Morning Magic at Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom as well!

Have you done Early Morning Magic at Toy Story Land? Did you have the same luck as us? Tell me in the comments below.

xoxo & magical wishes,

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Backstage Magic

Last month Chad and I decided to last minute take the Backstage Magic tour at Walt Disney World! So now I’m here to give you all the information about it but not too much information because I don’t want to ruin it for you if you are planning on taking it! This tour is run by Adventures By Disney, and must be booked in advance. This tour is 7 hours long and is $275 per person which includes lunch, they do however offer Annual Pass Discounts!

You DO NOT need park admission to go on this so it starts outside of Epcot and ends outside of Epcot, and you would need a park ticket to get in for the rest of the afternoon if you want to do that! To go from location to location they provide a coach bus, which has snacks and bottled water on board. Cameras were not allowed in any of the backstage areas, all photos included in this post were taken by our tour guides and uploaded for us to download for free after the tour!

First Stop…

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EPCOT: After check in we boarded the bus and headed to the back of Epcot, right behind the American Pavilion. We then walked in the backstage of the American Adventure show where we learned how that show works, and saw how intricate the animatronics were!

(We did not sit and watch the entire show, not gonna lie I use the American Adventure as nap time on hot days but all the information we learned may keep me awake next time I have time to enjoy that show!)

On to stop two!

CREATIVE COSTUMING: This may have been my favorite stop (maybe). The costuming department is on Disney Property but not at any of the parks, it used to be located at Hollywood Studios but now has it’s own location. We got to see all the steps for designing all the costumes in the parks, from characters, to cast members. I will say it’s a lot more than just taking a pattern and making a dress there are SO many steps and SO many people involved in each costume, truly was AMAZING!

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Next stop…

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LAUNDRY FACILITY: Yes we went to a laundry facility on a paid tour… but it was SO MUCH COOLER than it sounds! The facility we went to was just for the Deluxe Resorts where they washed all the bedding and towels. This place was HUGE, and the system they have is just unreal. They can dry 300 pounds of towels in 20 minutes, what. One more interesting fact even the mousekeepers carts go in a cart wash each day! We learned so much at this stop, it was just so fascinating!

Fourth Stop….

LUNCH, Whispering Canyon Cafe, at Wilderness Lodge Resort: As I mentioned prior lunch is included in the price of the tour. We enjoyed a family style meal which included, pulled pork, BBQ ribs, and chicken as well as green beans, mashed potatoes and corn bread. We also were served a peach cobbler with ice cream for dessert that was delicious! If you are unable to take this tour I would still recommend trying Whispering Canyon Cafe, it’s more than just a meal it’s also an experience as the servers joke around with you, you’ll see what I mean if you visit and ask for ketchup!

(I will add they do accommodate dietary restrictions of any sort, we were asked that when we checked in for the tour at the beginning of the day!)

Continuing on to our tour with the fifth stop..

CENTRAL SHOPS: I know I said Creative Costuming was my favorite stop but ignore that, this was my favorite stop! This was a GIANT mechanic shop that works on pretty much everything! Just some of the things we saw was a cart from Spaceship Earth, and Space Mountain, a Triceratop Spin Dinosaur, and a cart from Primeval Whirl! Maybe the coolest thing we saw was an Elephant from the Jungle Cruise getting new skin! Chad however thought the paint room was the coolest BUT he’s a store manager for Sherwin Williams so he geeks out over paint ha! We also learned so much about the safety that goes into each part of the rides, and so much more! Very interesting!

Onto the final stop..

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MAGIC KINGDOM: This is the part everyone was waiting for and everyone wants to see. The first floor of Magic Kingdom! The tunnels! This was just cool to see because I feel like you always wonder what it looks like. We were down there right when Festival of Fantasy ended so we saw the performers wandering around, including Princess Anna just casually carrying her wig (I know they are just young ladies like myself but still ha). I have done the Keys To The Kingdom tour as well a couple years back so this wasn’t my first time in the tunnels but it’s still very neat each time! (Here’s a secret: I really just want to see like Mickey walking around carrying his head or something like that HAHA)

Overall we would highly recommend this tour, we even said we would take it again in a couple years just to learn more behind the scene interesting facts! As always I’m happy to answer any additional questions, ask away in the comments! We’d like to start doing a new tour on our future trips, have you done any tours at the parks?! Tell me in the comments!



xoxo & magical wishes,

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A Very Merry Good Time!

I love Christmas, literally everything about it and it’s no secret I LOVE Disney! So Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a must do every year if you ask me! MVMCP is a special ticketed event that is held on certain dates from November-December at Magic Kingdom.

This year was extra magical for me because it was Chad’s first time seeing the parks dressed for Christmas and on top of that I somehow convinced him to dress up as Mickey! (Don’t ask me how I got him to do this because honestly I don’t know)

I believe this is my 4th year doing the Christmas Party and I truly have a different experience each time! I remember one year I was with 4 friends and we just spent the whole time wandering park, and then one year I spent most it waiting in line to meet Nick & Judy (that was a silly idea ha) and last year I went with my friend Brandie in matching outfits and I made her do a ton of meet & greets (not normally her thing) but it was a blast! But this year for me topped them all!

I’ll start with our outfits! This was a crazy idea I had that I somehow made happen with some help from Amazon and my mom! A lot of people ask how I knew what they would be wearing, and I just did a little research of what they wore at the 2017 Christmas Parties and kept my fingers crossed they weren’t going to change this year! (They did make some updates like Minnie no longer wears socks.. HAHA)

Minnie Bound:

  • Skirt: Handmade by mom!

  • Ears: Disney Parks with added Bow from Amazon!

  • Shoes: Keds! (comfort comes first when walking about the parks so I thought these were perfect to match Minnie but also be comfortable!)

  • The rest of the outfit: Amazon!

Mickey Bound:

  • Vest & Scarf: Handmade by mom!

  • Ears: Disney Parks!

  • Shoes: Disney Vans! (He wore these the whole trip and really loved them!)

  • The rest of the outfit: Amazon!

I’m telling you if you’re trying to put together a Disney Bound outfit you can find everything on amazon and CHEAP! These outfits (minus the shoes) didn’t cost more than $75 each!

Anytime I have the opportunity to Disney Bound in the parks I take advantage of it, it truly makes your trip that much more magical! We truly had the most Magical Moments during our meet and greets with Mickey I’m not sure I can even put it in words, so here is a bunch of photos! Was SO magical I think I have Chad completely hooked on Disney Bounding in the parks all the time!

So that was definitely the highlight of our party however during the party they offer lots of fun extras including special Meet & Greets, free cookies and other treats, a special parade, stage shows and fireworks! And my favorite part, SNOW! or SNOAP! I highly recommend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, it’s such a perfect way to kick off the holiday season! If you’re looking to book your next Disney trip my friend Ashton can share even more information with you and plan your trip for you completely free of charge! Email Her at Ashton@ZipADeeDooDahTravel.com

Have you been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?! What was your favorite part? Tell me in the comments below!

XOXO & Magical Wishes,

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Is a Disney Cruise really worth it?

So I was lucky enough to go on both a Disney Cruise and Carnival Cruise within the last 6 months and I’m here to give you my honest opinion on both!

Disney Cruise Line: I set sail on my first Disney Cruise in August on the Disney Dream.  This a quick 3 day cruise, we left from Port Canaveral, FL and sailed to Nassau Bahamas and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

Carnival Cruise Line: I set sail on my first Carnival Cruise in November on the Carnival Sensation. This was a 10 day cruise! (Actually 2 5-days back to back, but we stayed on the same ship) We left from Miami FL and stopped at Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Amber Cove Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk.

We’d be here all day if I went and on and on about each cruise so I’m going to pick some topics to touch on for both! Before even going into this I’d like to point out that our 10 day Carnival Cruise was about $800 cheaper than the 3 day Disney Cruise so you definitely get what you pay for but I expected that. We were also on the 2nd oldest ship in the fleet of Carnival ships so I also feel that I can’t give a fair opinion.

Food: MY FAVORITE! Both ships had really good food! Disney definitely had more options but also I never went hungry on Carnival so they had plenty of options. On Disney soft drinks are included, but on Carnival that was an additional charge which didn’t bother me as I don’t drink soda. Carnival includes water, lemonade and ice tea. If I was to pick which ship had better food I don’t think I could pick.

Entertainment: Disney wins this hands down, but it’s Disney so if I didn’t think this I would be concerned. We got to see the Broadway show Beauty & The Beast one night and it was unbelievable! Best Broadway show I have ever seen to be honest. Of course there are characters out and about each day in different outfits which is so fun, and one thing DCL is known for is fireworks off this ship which is kinda crazy if you really think about it. Also lots of fun entertainment in the lounges and clubs each day and night.

                I’m not at all saying Carnival doesn’t have good entertainment because they definitely did with fun shows happening every night after dinner, and lots of other options happening during the day like Bingo, Trivia and more.

Customer Service: We had exceptional customer service on both Cruises. Everyone on board went above and beyond to make sure you were happy. I will say on Carnival we had an amazing Cruise Director, Kevin who truly made that cruise what it was. I expect good customer service traveling Disney and this was no exception.

Crowds: I felt it was much more crowded on Carnival and I think this is why. When we sailed DCL we were with Adults only and DCL offers a lot of areas that are Adult Only including pools, hot tubs, bars, lounges and clubs. Now MOST people traveling DCL are traveling with little ones (understandable) and unless they send the kids to the kids clubs they can’t take advantage of these areas which left them open for us! Most peoples concern when traveling DCL (Chad included) was there was going to be children everywhere and we didn’t feel that way at all. Now Carnival also has an adult only hot tub BUT there were a lot more people at these areas so it felt crowded all the time. But AGAIN we were on the 2nd to older ship in the fleet which also means a smaller ship so I have heard other ships have more to offer!

Destinations: I’m not going to touch much on this as the stops are what you make of them, and depends what you want to see. Castaway Cay is hands down amazing, an island with a touch of Disney is what dreams are made of if you ask me. However with the excursions we booked on our Carnival Cruise we had so much fun at our stops! If you have any questions regarding the stops I’d be happy to answer them for you!

So which cruise line will we sail with again? BOTH! Ha But we will choose Carnival more just because of price we already have another booked in November 2019! However before getting off the Disney Dream we put money down to go on another within the next 2 years so we’ll see DCL soon too!

What did I miss? I’d be happy to answer any other questions I didn’t touch! Comment below!

xoxo & magical wishes,

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip 'n Dale!

FREE ENTERTAINMENT AT WALT DISNEY WORLD! Great I got your attention so let's jump right into this! You read that right, FREE! The Chip to my Dale (Courtney) and I saw something about how Chip and Dale have a campfire and you cook s'mores with them, they do it every night at 7 pm at Fort Wilderness Campground on Disney property. Okay great, S'mores + Chip & Dale = Dream Come True. But it was MUCH MUCH MORE!

Again it's at the Fort Wilderness Campground and you don't have to be staying there to enjoy this! (Helpful tip: if you are using Disney Transportation you can take a boat from the Contemporary or Wilderness Lodge! So get on the monorail to the Contemporary and go from there!) We arrived at the campground and this place is HUGE! I had no idea, but it was also very awesome and I want to rent a golf cart and just drive around the whole place, I would also like to buy a camper and live there but anyways..... To get back to where the festivities are happening you have to take one of the buses! They recommended we take the Orange Line but we ended up on the Yellow and got there just fine. (Ask a cast member/bus drivers for more info on this)

So we arrive to "Chip 'n Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long" and realize this is LEGIT. There is a small stage, LOTS of seating, 2 fire pits and a FOOD TRUCK! Naturally we head right to the food truck, they had a little bit of everything burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, snacks, BEER, and a S'more kit! I know, I know sounds like a dream. (It was) The S'more kit was $9.99 and came with a bellyache of marshmallows (seriously way too many), 2 Hersey chocolate bars, a sleeve of graham crackers and 2 marshmallow cooking sticks! We got some dinner and then picked a seat, us being us go for front row in the dead center. I'll remind you at this point we still really didn't know what to expect. 

Now the show is about to start, a very nice man came out with a cowboy hat and a guitar and I was in my element! He hopped up on stage and just started singing some tunes, asking the crowd to join in (we did, most didn't) and he made very funny terrible jokes. He then invited Chip & Dale out (cue the fan girl screams from us). They got up on stage with him for a quick minute and then came down into the crowd and met everyone for hugs and photo ops! AMAZING! The cowboy kept singing songs and eventually everyone including Chip & Dale did the hokey pokey! It was seriously a great time, and FREE. I would say the show lasted about a half hour, and once it was over they played a movie, I would guess the movie is different every night! We didn't stay for the movie, just went over to the fire pit to make a few s'mores and talk this hidden gem! 

We would both 100% recommend this, granted we are bias as we are in love with Chip & Dale & S'mores. It seems they do this every night at 7 pm weather pending of course! If you have free time during your next trip I would definitely recommend it!

Do you have a favorite "hidden gem" on Disney property? Let me know in the comments below! 

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I Just Love The Idea of Summer & Sun & All Thing Hot! (Just not at Disney!)

Disney in the summer is usually a no go for me, I mean I'm practically Olaf and I melt. BUT sometimes you just need a little Disney in your life so you suck it up and book a summer trip and here's how I handled it! 

For the quick run down, I handled it by sleeping in, pooling it in the afternoon and parking it all night. 

When I say we slept in I mean like slept until 11 HAHA! And laid in bed until 12! We'd get up and walk down to the food court and get lunch and then head to the pool for a couple hours! Even though it was SO hot out the pool was amazing! Don't forget sunblock! Did make that mistake whoops!

We'd head up to the room around 3 and get ready to adventure out to the parks! I tried to plan which parks we'd go to according to extra magic hours! Example: one day we went to Epcot from 4-9 and then Magic Kingdom for extra hours until 12!

Even late in the day it's still hot so we drank lots of water and if we didn't have a fast pass we enjoyed those never have a line AC rides like Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Finding Nemo & Turtle Talk, A Bugs Life etc. TIP: After you use your 3 fast passes you can go to a kiosk and get another, and after you use that one you can get another! 

We did A LOT this trip, I mean I think we rode almost everything and never left our room before 4! WE EVEN DID PANDORA! AMAZING!

Some people handle Disney in the summer by getting up early to head to the parks and then taking a break in the afternoon and going back out at night. For me personally I'm not a morning person so this worked out better for me! 

I've always been afraid of Disney in the summer but I have to say this trip did change my mind, do I still prefer a January trip well of course but I think I'm off my Disney Summer Strike. Do you have any tips & tricks to surviving Disney in the summer? Comment below! 

Shake It Off

Alright everyone knows I love Disney, want to know what I like more than Disney? Concerts. You're like WHAT?! Yup you read that right as much as I LOVE Disney I LOVE a good concert even more! So I'm gonna share my personal tips and tricks for concerting!

I attend a lot of concerts each summer, mostly country although we (when I say we I'm referring to my best friend Kristin! Tip 1: find your concert buddy) snuck in a Justin Bieber concert this summer! EEEEK! And I get a lot of people saying how do I go to so many? Or you're SO lucky you go to so many concerts?! What's your favorite concert?! How do you do VIP? So on and so forth so let me give you the run down.

PLAN AHEAD: So for me almost all my concerts I attend are in the summer and they get announced usually in the winter! We have our must see concerts (Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Thomas Rhett etc.) so when they are announced you can look up when the tickets are going to go on sale, and if they have pre-orders. More often than not we get our tickets during the pre-order which you either need a certain type of credit card OR just google the code! Buying your tickets during pre-order OR right when they go on sale makes it so you pay retail price, the second those tickets go on Stub Hub FORGET IT! If we bought all our concert tickets on Stub Hub we would not attend as many concerts as we do now! I would 100% say the reason we are able to go to so many concerts each summer is because we plan ahead, also why we usually have pretty good seats! Example: We bought our tickets to Florida Georgia Line and THE BACKSTREET BOYS (BEST NIGHT EVER) during a pre-order, we were 7 rows back. They cost us $185 (with fees) (pricey yes, but its the freaking Backstreet Boys are Fenway Pahk!) and the cheapest in that area on Stub Hub closer to the show were $300 plus fees! PLAN AHEAD!

 

FAVORITES!: No question my ultimate favorite concert EVER and will ALWAYS BE my favorite performer is Taylor Swift, hands down. Her concerts are unbelievable, the production behind them is just over the top! Last time she toured in summer of 2015 everyone got a bracelet and it lit up to the beat of every single song, it was AMAZING! Okay I could go on and on about Taylor Swift but moving on. Other favorites are pretty much who I named as our must see Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Same Hunt! There is NOTHING like a Luke Bryan stadium show, and seeing Kenny Chesney at Gillette Stadium is life changing! (That's where No Shoes Nation began!) OH and The Backstreet Boys are definitely a must see after this past weekend! WOA!

VIP: Sometimes we do VIP tickets, if you're interested in this usually all you have to do is google the artist your wanting to do this for so like "Dierks Bentley VIP tickets" these tickets are available during a pre-order. We have done VIP tickets for (Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett, Dustin Lynch and Florida Georgia Line) Luke's, Dierks and FGL (I like to think we're on a first name basis) were both held by CID Entertainment. What we got was tickets within the first 20 rows, a pre-show party, a pre-show acoustic preformance, snack type food, and special VIP merchandise. Would I say this is worth it? HECK YES. We have done Luke's twice! For Thomas and Dustin's this was different, this was a separate ticket however we again got VIP merchandise, a pre-show performance AND we got to meet them!

That's about it for my concert run down, it's all about the research and planning ahead. There is nothing like live music especially country music. Something about putting my boots on, singing on the top of my lungs and dancing like no ones watching makes me love it more than Disney!

OH I do have one more VERY important tip. NEVER and I repeat NEVER wear flip flops. It's just gross. Besides being stepped on, probably having to walk through a dirt parking lot or two, stepping in what ever drunky mcdunk spilled, you'll be standing a lot. Just don't wear flip flops, you'll thank me later.

Are you a concert goer? What are your must see tours?! Comment below!