Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Disney's Magical Express - How it Works

by Nikki Glinski

So you probably know that once you are on property at Walt Disney World, transportation is available from your resort to almost anywhere you want to go. But did you know that Disney also offers a complimentary round trip transfer from the Orlando International Airport directly to your resort? It's called Disney's Magical Express and here's how it works!

Whether you book a package or a room-only reservation at a Walt Disney World Resort, you are eligible for this service. A few weeks before your vacation, you will receive your Magical Express voucher and luggage tags - one per person in your travel party. After your bags are packed, attach one yellow luggage tug to each bag that you plan to check at the airport. (You should not put the yellow tags on your carry-on baggage.) Keep your voucher booklet with you during the flight. You will need it when you land!

When you arrive at Orlando International Airport, you can skip baggage claim and follow the map in your booklet directly to the Magical Express Welcome Center located in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1. As long as your bags have been tagged properly, the Magical Express Service will retrieve them for you!

Once you arrive at the Welcome Center, you will need to have your vouchers handy. The castmembers will scan them and you will be directed to the bus line for your resort. After a short wait, you will be boarding the Magical Express bus! If you have any questions or concerns, there is also a counter with castmembers there to help you with any issues you may have.

If you have choose to not tag your luggage and retrieve them yourself, they can be stored safely under the bus. Once on board, the bus driver will introduce himself and let you know which resorts the bus will stop at and in which order. As if you aren't excited enough, during the ride, a video will play introducing you to your Walt Disney World vacation and before you know it, you will be pulling into your resort!! In my opinion, this bus ride is where your Disney vacation officially begins!

And what about your luggage? Well in just a few hours, your tagged luggage will be delivered right to your hotel room! You don't even have to be there when they arrive so go out and get started with your magical vacation and your bags will be waiting for you when you return!!

On the last full day of your trip, you will wake up to an envelope hanging on your door. This will have your Magical Express pick-up information for your return trip to the airport the following day. It will also include information on airline check-in. This service will allow you to check your luggage and print your plane tickets the morning of your departure right from your resort. Your pick-up time is generally three hours before your scheduled flight.

*Most major airlines participate with Magical Express. To sign up for this convenient service, let Disney know when you have your flight information or talk to your Mouse World Travel agent and let us set it up for you!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pixar California Coastal Voyages

This fall, you can sail to the horizon and beyond on a cruise that only Disney can deliver! Watch this entertaining video to learn more about the 7-night California Coast voyages featuring lots of Pixar fun. These special cruises set sail Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 from the Port of Los Angeles.

These speciality cruises start at at $599 per person, based on double occupancy, in an Inside Stateroom with Restrictions onboard Disney Wonder®  Government Taxes and Fees are not included.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Stay 5 Nights at Aulani for the price of 3!

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa has proven itself to be a popular vacation destination in Hawai'i.  To make the guest experience even better, the Resort is expanding it's current amenities!

Planned expansions include:
  • An additional pool, toddler pool and interactive water play area
  • 18,500 additional square feet of pool deck
  • Two new, convenient quick-service dining locations, including a beach kiosk
  • The addition of a retractable trellis cover at the signature Makahiki restaurant to allow for outdoor seating during any weather conditions
  • An expanded Starlit Hui venue, allowing even more Guests to enjoy this popular show
  • Another beach access point will be added
Construction for these projects, which is scheduled to begin in September and finish in mid-2013, is happening in conjunction with the building of the final phase of the Resort.

For a limited time, when you book a five-night stay, you will get TWO of those nights free!  Book by November 10th for stays most nights from September 10-December 22.

Contact us today for more information about Aulani, or a no-obligation quote!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How are Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck related?

by Jennifer Dowling

Did you ever wonder how Donald and Scrooge are related?

We know Scrooge is referred to as "Uncle" by both Donald, and Donald's' nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.  First I will tell you how Huey, Dewey and Louie are related to Donald. They are Donald's sister, Della Duck's, children. Donald and Della Duck are descendants of the McDuck clan though their maternal line of ancestry. The identity of the boys' father is something of a mystery. Very little is known about him. It was revealed in an early comic strip that Mr. Duck was sent to the hospital because Huey, Dewey and Louie placed a firecracker under his armchair as a prank, with disastrous results. It was because of this incident that Della sent her sons to her brother, Donald Duck. While originally meant to be a one-month stay, the nephews wound up staying with Donald permanently; the reasons for this are unknown. However, both Della and Donald are linked to Scrooge McDuck in equal measure, and yet Donald is always referred to as Scrooge's closest living relative, which suggests she has disappeared or passed away.

On to Scrooge's relationship...did you know that Donald had a mother and her name was Hortense? She is Scrooge McDuck's youngest sister. The family was born in Scotland to a working class family living in relative poverty. At around the age of 13, Scrooge emigrated to the US. Approximately 12 years later, Scrooge returned to Scotland to fetch his 2 sisters, Hortense and Matilda. Hortense had a temper like Scrooge, but Matilda was mild mannered. When Scrooge established Duckburg, Calisota, United States as his homebase he started journeying the world trying to expand his financial empire and his sisters ran his business on the homefront. Hortense met her boyfriend Quackmore Duck whom she married and they had a set of twins, Donald and Della. Donald is said to have inherited his mothers temper.

Scrooge often states that he is the last McDuck left. This would leave you to believe that his sisters have died. But his claim could hold true as well because he is the last male McDuck left.

If you'd like to meet Donald Duck on your next Walt Disney World visit you can find him at several character buffet meals, and regularly at the Epcot Character Spot.  He can also sometimes be found in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, or at Animal Kingdom.  At the Disneyland Resort he is most commonly spotted in Disney's California Adventure.

Edited to add: Donald can also be found regularly at Walt Disney World in Mexico at Epcot.

Scrooge McDuck is much more difficult to find in the U.S. Parks.  He will occasionally appear in various locations throughout the Parks; your best bet to see him would be during the holiday season.

Daisy Duck is often meeting guests in Town Square in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  She is also sometimes found at the Sorcerer's Hat in Disney's Hollywood Studios, and is at the character buffet meal, Tusker House, at Animal Kingdom.  In Disneyland she sometimes can be found at the character breakfast at the Paradise Pier Hotel.

Edited to add: Daisy can often be found at Walt Disney World in Epcot, under Spaceship Earth near the Camera Store.

Meeting Huey, Dewey, and Louie is incredibly rare.  They can sometimes be out randomly in the parks, your best bet would be during the holiday season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kosher Quick Service

By Mindy Walbesser

One very stormy day at EPCOT led to our very first time ordering a Glatt kosher meal at Walt Disney World. Glatt kosher is a term used to refer to meat products meeting the highest standard of kashrut (kosher). Often it is used to refer to non-meat foods meeting the highest standard, as most providers of Glatt meat also meet the highest standards overall. Walt Disney World’s kosher food is currently provided by Weberman Traditional Foods of Miami, www.webermanfoods.com .

Our family adheres to a more relaxed tradition referred to as kosher style. We do not eat pork or shell fish, and we try to refrain from mixing beef with dairy products. We will eat meat meeting USDA standard as well as Glatt standard.

So, as a typical late starting day begins for us at EPCOT, we arrive at the turnstiles with lunch on our minds, only to find it start to drizzle as we enter the park. We started to hurry toward World Showcase to try to make it to one of our favorite lunch spots. (I no longer remember where we were trying to go!) As we approached the American Adventure Pavilion, the skies just opened up and the downpour was overwhelming. We quickly ran into the Liberty Inn, American Adventure’s Quick Service location. It’s a pretty good place to hang out as it is air conditioned, covered and has plentiful tables.

We really were hungry, so we figured we might as well try to eat here. It didn’t look like we were going anywhere else anytime soon. We walked over to the menu board and found it to be filled with cheese and bacon covered burgers and hotdogs. Even the salad had bacon. I realized I could have asked for any of those items plain, which I considered, but we saw Kosher Meals listed on the menu, and decided to give that a try. We walked up to the order taker station, and asked about the kosher meals. The cast member pulled a three-ring binder out from a drawer and handed it to me. I noticed right away that there were divider tabs with labels such as Kosher Meals, Vegetarian Meals, Gluten Free meals, etc.. I thought it was great that this location has so many special meal options. On the kosher meals tab, there were 3 or 4 choices. I don’t remember exactly how many. There were no separate choices for kids meals. My husband and I both opted for the hamburger and our daughter opted for the hot dog meal. Both meals came with potato croquets.

After we paid, a Cast Member brought our meals to us when they were ready. The meals arrived at the table heated, but still sealed inside their packaging. The packaging consisted of a specially made cardboard tray with a cellophane wrapper over the top. In order for the meal to maintain its glatt status, it had to be sealed to be able to be heated in the same area where non-kosher food was prepared. We peeled back the wrapper to reveal a very interesting burger and hotdog. We had never seen this before, but the hot dog and the hamburger were completely encased in their respective buns. There was no slit. We went to the condiment station and got plastic flatware and cut open the buns. The meal looked and smelled good… but how would it taste? 

Back at the condiment station, we got some ketchup and mustard and then took a bite. Delicious! We were very surprised at how delicious a pre-prepared meal that was heated inside its little tray was. The bun wasn’t even soggy! The potato croquets were a lot like Tater tots, but were more disk shaped. They also were very good. The meal was only about $1.50 more than the other meals on the menu. All in all, we were very pleased that we decided to try the kosher meals instead of asking for the regular hot dog or burger without the bacon or cheese. In my own personal opinion, kosher hotdogs, as well as kosher burgers, tend to taste better than regular ones!

Below is a list of Quick Service locations that offer kosher meals with no advance notice:

Disney's All-Star Movies Resort
World Premiere Food Court

Disney's All-Star Music Resort

Intermission Food Court

Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
End Zone Food Court

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Mara

Disney's Beach Club Resort
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Old Port Royale

Disney's Contemporary Resort
Contempo Café

DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney
Food Quest

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Gasparilla Grill & Games

Disney's Old Key West Resort
Good's Food To Go

Disney's Polynesian Resort
Capt. Cook's

Disney's Pop Century Resort
Everything Pop Shopping and Dining

Disney's Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

Disney's Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
Riverside Mill Food Court

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
The Artist's Palette

Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Roaring Fork

Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Hurricane Hanna's Grille

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Disney's Hollywood Studios
ABC Commissary

Electric Umbrella Restaurant
Liberty Inn
Sunshine Seasons

Magic Kingdom Park
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café

Your Mouse World Travel Agent can assist you with any Table Service meals - just be sure to let them know you need to, or prefer to eat Kosher.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FREE DINING at Walt Disney World is back!

When you purchase a minimum of a 3-night stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, along with a minimum of a 2-Day Base theme park ticket you will receive a Disney Dining Plan FREE!

Book your vacation at select Disney Moderate, Disney Deluxe, or Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts for arrivals most nights Sept. 30 – Oct. 4, Oct. 19 – Nov. 1, Nov. 9-15, Nov. 23-29 and Dec. 10-13, 2012, and get the Plus Dining Plan FREE!  This includes 1 Table Service, 1 Quick Service and 1 Snack per person, per night of your reservation, plus a refillable mug per person.  (does not include gratuities)

Or, when you stay a Disney Value Resort you will receive the Quick Service Dining Plan FREE!  This includes 2 Quick Service and 1 Snack per person, per night of your reservation, plus a refillable mug per person.  You can upgrade to the Plus Dining Plan for and additional cost.

Must book by September 29, 2012.

*update, August 8th: the travel dates have changed.  This discount offer is good for arrivals September 30-October 4, October 19-November 1, November 9-15, November 23-29 and December 10-20.

Contact us today for a no-obligation quote!  We have already saved our clients thousands of dollars with this offer!  Fall is an excellent time to visit Walt Disney World and this a GREAT money-saving offer!