Wednesday, January 29, 2014

RUN Disney...What is all the fuss about?

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Looking for something different to do on your next Disney Vacation? A Run Disney run may be just the thing to change up your Disney Vacation. Each year the Disney Parks hold a number of runs, Disneyland hosts the Tinkerbell and Disneyland Half marathons while Disneyworld holds five races each year, including the Expedition Everest Challenge, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler, Wine and Dine half marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon, and the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  

The above runs may say they are half marathons or full marathons, but many of them include different options for runners of varying experience levels. Many runs offer kids races and shorter 5 k runs. Along with these options, the Expedition Everest Challenge also offers a family edition of the race where families can register to compete as a team of 2-6 people.

The cost to participate in the runs varies widely depending on which weekend you wish to participate in and which length event interests you. The cost covers registration as well as a participation prize pack that varies depending on event. Many of the races do sell out and are popular attractions, so be sure to book quickly when the event you are interested in opens up for registration.

Each of the runs has a finish line party, admission to some parties is included with the registration cost but this varies on the race, otherwise additional party passes may be purchased for a cost. Family and friends are welcome to purchase admission to the post-race parties as well but tickets are limited. Another popular option on race weekends is adding a spa package at one of the Disney Spas such as at the Grand Californian and Grand Floridian Hotels, guests wishing to have a spa treatment on these weekends should consider booking spa services in advance of traveling (407-WDW-SPAS).

There are some cool products available for runners, or for those who like to pretend they might run someday:

Prior to the start of the race, participants must pick up their race package from a designated location, for Disneyworld runs this is usually in the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. As previously noted many of the races do sell out and so it is advisable to register for the race of your choice as early as possible. Registration can be done online at, and is straightforward. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Disney's Haunted Mansion Attraction

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January 25, 2014


If you have never climbed in a Doombuggy, you are missing out, plain and simple.  I’ve even seen a website devoted to the Doombuggy,! The Haunted Mansion is iconic and beloved, and has so many fun facts and interesting details that you could ride them over and over, daily for a year, and still spot new and fun things.

You start off in the Stretch room…my favorite character is the girl walking the tightrope.  Hint…if you’ve never experienced the attraction, when you hear thunder, look up!

I love the ballroom.  Ghosts intermittently appear and disappear…hanging on chandeliers, dancing, sitting at a nicely set dining room table where you might spot a Hidden Mickey. 
Then of course there is the graveyard, where popping ghost heads will make you jump and the singing heads will make you smile. The opera singer holding a head is cute.  I have been fortunate to ride the Haunted Mansion at Disney World with an imagineer speaking to me through a headpiece throughout the ride during a tour, and the details he pointed out during the ride were fascinating.  Did you know that the framed drawings of spooktacular creatures that line some of the hallways are actually drawings done by cast members before the last update, when they were trying to come up with some new creatures?  They had a brainstorm…why not put them up!

About  Madame Leota…what isn’t mesmerizing about a floating head in a crystal ball?  “Serpents and Spiders, tail of a rat…”  When Disney revamped the ride, they also revamped Leota…and used one of her actual descendents to make sure the bone structure was correct for the new globe.  Disney is nothing if not dedicated to getting the details correct! 

The ride music is catchy…in fact, my favorite part of the Boo To You Parade, which is a feature in the Not So Scary Halloween Party, is the Haunted Mansion section with the grave diggers, the real dog, and the deadly dancers.  Perhaps because Disney is NOT scary most of the time is one of the reasons why the Haunted Mansion is such a treat.

At the end, you get to see a ghost practically sitting in your lap…and then hear the extra creepy voice of the bride as you leave…”Hurry baaaaack…be sure to bring your death certificate”.

Unfortunately, several years ago they had to get politically correct (which is unlike Disney, a company that is steadfast in calling Christmas CHRISTMAS and not “the holiday season”) the cast members at the Haunted Mansion no longer tell us to “drag your dead bodies to the center of the room” or say any of the other spooky cool things they used to say.  Disney gave in to the bunch of whiners that thought it was too scary, and despite their new “script” and acting classes for the cast members (who used to ad-lib), the cast members might look spooky but they are now boring.

Just remember…there are 999 happy haunts in residence, but there is always room for one more!

Have a Haunted Day!
Travel Time Travel

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Disney Dining Plans: Part 3, Final Details

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By Melissa at Travel Time Travel

This is the third part to the Disney Dining Plans blog, this part is going to focus on some of the extra little details. If you missed the first two parts be sure to look at Walt Disney World Dining Plans and Disneyland Dining Plans for specifics about the dining plan you are looking at. Some of the extra little details this entry will look at are the systems of payment, the tween traveler, and making the most of your dining plan.

So when you purchase the dining plan you are pre-paying for your meals (or a portion of them), but how do you go about using those meal allotments. If you are travelling to Disneyland, your travel package will include a book of meal vouchers for each member of your party that is on the dining plan. The booklets say that the vouchers must remain intact with the booklet until the time of payment so make sure that you are not just tearing them out and putting vouchers in your wallet. I personally keep all of my booklets of vouchers in a Ziploc bag in my purse/backpack to protect them from the water rides. If you are travelling to Walt Disney World your meal plan is attached to your Key to the World/ Magic Band. 

Now deciding if it is worth it for your travel party, if you are a party of people that is all adults or adults and small children that cost the same as children it most likely is worth it, in my opinion. Where it can get a little bit trickier is for the parties that are travelling with that in between age, the tweens. The Disney Dining plan counts children as ages 3-9, so kids 10 and above get charged as adults for the dining plan portion of their package. Kids 3-9 must eat off a kids menu where kid’s menus are available, so if your 9 year old is used to eating an adult’s meal you may find that them having to order off a kids menu leaves them still a bit hungry. On the other side you might have a 10 or 11-year-old “tween” who still eats small and would prefer to order off the kids menu, this “tween” would still be getting charged as an adult.

Another important thing to consider is what type of dining, and what type of vacation, does your family want to have. If your family wants a flexible vacation with fewer reservations to hold them to a schedule a quick-service dining plan may be the best option for you. If your family likes A la cart versus fixed price meals such as buffets may also influence the value you get from your dining plan. At A la cart restaurants kids 10 and over can eat often eat off the kids menu but may get charged for beverages at server’s discretion.

 So if you have a tween that eats small but your family want to do a number of fixed price meals, such as; a Buffet with Character at Chrystal Palace, Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, and Donald’s Dining Safari at Tusker House Restaurant during your 5 day stay at Walt Disney World it could be worth it to purchase the dining plan. 

The dining plan can save your family money, but it is always good to know what kind of eaters you are travelling with, and what type of vacation you are looking for. To help your Travel Time Agent help make the most of your vacation talk to them about any concerns you have, if you have any other questions about the Dining Plan or its value for your Disney Vacation contact your Travel Time Agent:).

Contact Melissa
1-855-468-8896 Ext 128