Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Cowfish at Universal Orlando Citywalk...Sushi and burgers?

NEW PHOTOS 5/2017 available HERE

What an odd concept.  Sushi and burgers, and truly, along with outrageous drinks, burgers and sushi are what are on the menu at The Cowfish.  Reservations are recommended if you know when you want to go.  With no reservations, during certain peak times you'll have to wait a bit.



It is a large restaurant that is funky and cool, and was our choice to celebrate a 21st birthday before heading to Halloween Horror Nights.  We decided to sit out on the covered outdoor area, and they gave us a great table that overlooked Citywalk.





The service was just okay.  Once we were sat it took a while for someone to take our drink orders, and a couple different people came over, saying our server was busy and they would help us, but then they'd never return.  We finally had drinks, and throughout the meal the service wasn't exactly bad, but it was not good either.  The server was friendly but mainly absent, and they were the only restaurant on the whole duration of our trip (Universal and Disney) that did nothing to recognize the birthday girl, despite it being her actual birthday, us telling them when we checked in for our reservation, her wearing a Universal birthday button and an "I'm 21 Today" shirt.

The drinks were both innovative and delicious.


Buffalos and Bacon






The prices seem to be an average of around $14 to $15 per entree, which wasn't out of line.  The appetizers we ordered were very tasty.



Here are our entrees.  All of the food was enjoyed, and the sweet potato fries were my favorite part.  Each member of our party enjoyed their food, and we had no complaints.


Bento Boxes





In summary, it is a fun restaurant to try, but I wouldn't choose it as a place to celebrate again, as they were lackluster about it.

By Lucy
www.traveltimetravel.com

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

HHN...Halloween Horror Nights Party Review, Strategy and Tips at Universal Orlando 2015





What fun. 

We attended our second ever Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios park in Orlando on October 16th, 2015.  It happened to be my daughter's 21st birthday, so our mood obviously started off extremely well anyway, but the party was delightful.  I laughed, screamed, jumped, an laughed some more.  For more pictures and video links, go HERE

My preplanning blog can be found HERE so I won't go into tremendous detail about each section.  As you can see, there are nine haunted houses this year, and six scare zones.  For the 25th anniversary celebration, they really pulled out all the stops with the houses.

Lets start from the beginning. 

Tickets



Although cheaper if you have already purchased a day ticket, full price was $101 this year, ouch.

Express Pass

This is a ticket add on.  It allows the purchaser entrance to each haunted house and each ride open that night once.  If you are staying onsite at one of the deluxe resorts and have grown used to the Express pass benefit, please note that HHN is excluded from that, so if you want Express you have to purchase it.  The price goes from around $60 to $127, depending on crowd expectations.  Guess how much ours were?  Yep, $127.  But I decided we would not spend my daughter's 21st birthday standing in line all night for the houses.  For us, it was well worth it, but is very cost prohibitive.

If there are Express passes left, they will be sold to guests at the party after 11 PM at a discounted price, I heard them being sold for $60 on the night we attended.

Details

Park closes to day guests at 5 PM, but we saw them herding out stragglers still around 5:45.  Islands of Adventure is still open for a couple of hours so guests can head over there if they don't want to end their day.

The party officially reports to open at 7 (some places say 6:30).  In reality, the park will be open right around 6 PM.

If you are already in the park, they have "holding zones" where you can wait until they reopen the park.  Some people like to get a dinner reservation at Finnegan's while they wait, but reports this year said that once released that area was quite busy immediately, and the holding area by the Simpsons was better.  Keep in mind, year to year the holding areas could change.  From a holding zone you'll be released right back into the park.

If you have general admission and are staying offsite, you'll get in line.  Here is what that looks like:





You will be let in right around 6 PM.

If you are an onsite resort guest, there is a special line for you.  Here is what ours looked like:



This was around 5:45


You will have your bags searched and there are metal detectors to enter the parks for these parties.

You will be let in right around 6 PM.  Please note, you can see the line for the general public and they will start entering at the same time, so I'd recommend getting in that line around 5:30.  The Universal employees were really fun at the gate, entertaining and enthusiastic.  They had us chanting, and also brought my daughter to the front for some birthday fun.





Once you enter, you'll feel chaos, and not just because the general public is also rushing in.  We heard chainsaws, and saw many creatures come at us.  We were surrounded, as you can see by this video, and it was quite fun.





Strategy

This is what we did, and I highly recommend it to anyone, it really worked extremely well.



We entered the onsite resort line around 5:30, we were only a few people back.  If you are staying offsite, I'd say get there by 5 at the latest, that line was much more packed.   We had already looked at the map of the houses beforehand, and had decided on kind of a convoluted criss cross, but the bottom line is we walked into two haunted houses with no wait, we didn't use our Express access.  The third had a 10 minute wait, so we used our passes, and regretted it because it happened to be our favorite house (The Body Collectors), and we went a second time later that night (it was very late though so the wait was about 15 minutes).  



Despite being told to start at the back of the park, we started at the front, because getting in at opening allowed us no waits for the first few attractions.

We continued around to hit other haunted houses.  We figured we'd experience the Scare Zones while doing that.  Since we had Express, we didn't really hurry.  No strategy was needed after that, we went where we pleased.

This is what a line looks like in the peak of the night for non Express pass holders:



In the end, two of us experienced eight haunted houses plus a duplicate, and one of us nine haunted houses plus a duplicate, all six scare zones, lots of street shows, a handful of rides, lots of creepy characters and good cocktails.



A "nurse"

Houses



Our favorite house was The Body Collectors.  I personally didn't expect to like that one much, and we liked it so much we went twice!  The first scene was shocking...I mean, it looks really, really real...my guess is younger kids would flip the heck out immediately.  Other scenes, less real, were creepy, funny and diabolical.  It was even better the second experience!

Good ones:

Asylum in Wonderland was good.  Fun characters, psychedelic 3D effects, this house was enjoyable.  When you first enter though be aware it looks like you are spinning.  Since it is like a 4D experience and you have glasses on, it can be quite trippy.  And if you are like me and get motion sickness, that isn't a welcome feeling.  It doesn't last long and thankfully doesn't happen again.

The Purge was interesting.  I wasn't familiar with The Purge, so I looked at it with fresh eyes and zero expectation.  It was very creepy but in a "we are 1950's bank robbers" kind of way.  Lots of gore, here, you are distracted by the masks, they reminded me of the movie Point Break.

Just eh..:

Starting with Freddy Vs. Jason, that was the one I was most looking forward to.  And I was thrilled upon crossing the threshold into the house on Elm Street.  However, Jason and Freddy repeat.  A lot.  One or both of them is in every seen, almost always live.  I'm glad I went in, but it was the least well done house because of that...it just got repetitive.  It was also one of the houses with the longest waits throughout the night, I saw 90 minutes at one point.

The atmosphere around the park is awesome.  Everyone is in a good mood, and shrieks abound.  The Scare Zones are really a cool experience because creatures familiar and new surround guests, walking among them, popping out from next to signs or dark corners.  A couple of the zones had small stages, performing little, uh...skits?  The Director uses a bloody bathtub.  One involved apple bobbing. 






Quite thrilling to me was to see the familiars...Freddy, Chuckie and his Bride, and even Carrie!




The Shadybrook Asylum run Scare Zone was totally bizarre, as you can see from these videos.





Tips


  • We couldn't find The Mummy.  It was the weirdest thing...we kept talking about the Mummy and never seemed to walk past it. Maybe it was all the shots.
  • Try a blood bag.  Sure it is an overpriced bag of jello that is very hard to suck out, and might enjoy splattering all over your white tank like mine did, but this might be the only chance you'll ever have to drink out of a blood bag.
  • We got a pretzel in the stand next to the shark Jaws, and it was hard as a brick.  I think as the night went on they figured everyone was buzzed so who cared if the pretzels could take out an enemy if thrown.
  • Certain houses are busy all night (Freddy Vs. Jason) and some weren't busy at all (An American Werewolf in Paris).
  • The creatures won't touch you
  • Be considerate when you are taking pictures.  Ask, and refrain from using flash photography, in the dark it can really blind the actors.
  • Ask the characters nicely if they will take a photograph with you and they are usually happy to pose.

  • You can get a wristband at various stations proclaiming your status as a guest that has been carded and is over 21.  However, they don't work at the individual random stands that sell drinks, because they are outside vendors, so keep your ID handy unless you are old like me.
  • There are a lot of fun blinky and light up things to buy and wear, but be warned, you have to turn them off and cover up any lighting at all inside the haunted houses.
  • If you are staying offsite, you can expect a large amount of traffic going in and a large amount of traffic driving out, we saw a huge stream of people before and then around 1:30 AM in Citywalk exiting.
  • You can buy a cute HHN cup and the drinks are cheaper for refills, plus they make a cute souvenir
  • The clothing options for souvenirs weren't great.  They have absolutely nothing subtle...like a logo or something depicting HHN without a huge image of gore or scary.  I really liked the hoodie jacket they sold this year but it had a weird plastic piping.  Somewhat disappointing because I would have shopped if anything was more "mature".
  • They didn't have Rocky Horror Picture Show this year as a stage show, which was also disappointing, that needs to come back.
  • All through the night I kept thinking "I'm having the BEST time!"

Universal does it right.  They are really masters at this.  I can imagine no other Halloween event hosted this well with this much detail and commitment.  It was a very good time and I highly recommend it!




By Lucy
www.traveltimetravel.com

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Returns to Walt Disney World Resort Nov. 8

From live entertainment and spectacular fireworks to festive d├ęcor and an oh-so-jolly parade, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers magic, cheer and enchantment for Guests of every age. Here’s a look at some of the fun your Clients will experience at this annual yuletide after-hours event:

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
It’s a holiday parade brimming with cheer! Gingerbread men, elves and others dance down Main Street, U.S.A. with favorite Disney Characters. Plus, Santa joins in the fun to wish Guests a "Merry Christmas!" from his colorful sleigh!

Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
Brilliant white lights explode in the air above Cinderella Castle in this breathtaking music and fireworks show.

Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle
As a gift to Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother waves her wand, and with a bibbidi-bobbidi-boo enchants the castle with sparkling white lights. Magnificent icicles seem to form instantly over the parapets and towers of the royal palace, as the lights wink and shimmer to a medley of heartwarming Disney tunes.

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas!
Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and Stitch fight holiday doldrums across the galaxy in this jolly musical revue chock full of the coolest dance numbers.

Celebrate the Season Show
‘Tis the season to give gifts, and Mickey’s present to Minnie is not to be missed! Goofy, Donald and others get into the holiday spirit with their own version of The Nutcracker in this jubilant musical spectacle.
And More!
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities with favorite Disney Characters
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • A magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. at Magic Kingdom Park on Nov. 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29, Dec. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18, 2015.

www.traveltimetravel.com or 1-855-468-8896

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Disney Parks is saluting U.S. military personnel in 2016 by offering special ticket and room prices


U.S. Military members, including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists or their spouses, can purchase the tickets and rooms.

Walt Disney World Resort

At Walt Disney World Resort – from September 25, 2015 through December 16, 2016, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:
Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $196 each, plus tax
Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $196 each, plus tax
Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $230 each, plus tax.
Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used January 3, 2016, through December 19, 2016, except that the tickets may not be used March 20, 2016 – April 1, 2016.
Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by December 19, 2016.

Disneyland Resort

At the Disneyland Resort – from October 12, 2015 through December 16, 2016, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

Disney Military Promotional 3-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $143 each

Disneyland tickets may be used January 3, 2016, through December 19, 2016, except that the tickets may not be used March 20, 2016– April 1, 2016.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by December 19, 2016.

 Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt

Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.* This offer is valid for stays most nights from January 3, 2016, through December 19, 2016, except for:

March 20, 2016 – April 1, 2016

For information on Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to Walt Disney World Resort, or to make room reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, military personnel may call 407-939-7830 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices. For information regarding Disney 3-Day Military Promotional

Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort, or to make room reservations at the Disneyland Resort, military personnel may call 714-520-7088 or participating U.S. military base ticket offices..

Here are some other details you should know about:

Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and other family members and friends, as provided herein. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold.

“Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The actual prices charged at the individual U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.

Participating military sales outlets must require that Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) present valid military identification to purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets.

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort are not valid until activated by the Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options expire and may not be used after December 19, 2016. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort expire and may not be used after December 19, 2016. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

No more than six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse (regardless of the place of purchase and whether purchased by that person or that person’s spouse). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be used by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.

Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply.

*Information provide by Disney

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply. 

Please contact your Disney Military Specialist today at www.traveltimetravel.com
 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Disney's Chef Mickey's Brunch at the Contemporary Resort



Dining with Disney characters has long been a tradition at Walt Disney World.  Perhaps the most loved and well known are breakfasts and dinners at Chef Mickey's with the true main characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto.  At no other restaurant can you find the Fab Five, but here they will visit your table individually for photos and autographs!






The most recent update for Chef Mickey's is the new Brunch offered.  We had brunch this month (October 2015) and it was just as delightful as the other meals, with an interesting mix of breakfast and main dish offerings.

Located on the 4th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort, a reservation is a must.  This is where a great travel agent comes in...we can guide you on times and securing reservations for the most desired locations.  You check in and receive a pager, then step forward to take a photograph with the Chef Mickey's plate.  Photopass photographers are on hand, but remember they'll also take photos with your own camera if you ask!





Your pager will vibrate and you'll meet your hostess by the counter.




You'll be walked to your table, and after you are seated make sure the characters aren't already in that vicinity before you begin getting your food.  If you see them close, wait. If you don't see them, go for the food!

Facing the buffet, there are two ends.  Go to the one on the left, it is almost always empty while the one on the right is packed.

Here are some of the offerings:








They are great with celebrations, and the characters make a big deal out of celebration buttons.



The price is steep at around $45 per person for ages 10 and up, but it is an awesome character experience with great food.  A meal at Chef Mickey's is compulsory on vacation with my family!

By Lucy
www.traveltimetravel.com

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

Disney World Resort Airline Check In on the day of your departure from the property

Airline check in has been around for quite some time at the Walt Disney World Resort, but it has evolved.  At first, it was just at certain resorts, and certain airlines.  Now, they work with just about every airline, and they have the ability to assist you to check in and pay for your checked luggage and give you a boarding pass, enabling you to bypass any counter and go directly to the security check point at the airport.  Orlando International Airport (MCO) is a lovely airport in that it has great shops and dining, but the security lines are heinous almost all of the time, and unless you have TSA Precheck, you'll be waiting forever in lines with cranky brats irate that their time with Mickey has ended (and their kids are irritable too!).   At least you don't have to wait at airline counters in addition to the superfun experience of the security check point.

How it works
 
Between 5 AM and 1 PM typically (make sure you verify), your resort airline check in counter will be open.  Your luggage must be dropped off no later than 3 hours prior to your departure flight time.  You can check yourself in online if you are used to that, and even pay for your checked luggage, or you can do it the morning of when you go to the counter.  Be aware when it first opens it will be busy, and the closer it gets to 1 PM the busier it gets.  We went at 10:30 AM and there was very little wait.  The counter is typically near the outside bell services desk, but ask a Cast Member for the location at your resort.  Make sure you bring your IDs, whether it is a license or a passport.  They will weigh and tag your luggage, and off it goes, to be seen next at your home airport.

Yes, you read that right. You walk away without the hassle of your checked bags (and if you are anything like me, you probably have an extra bag or two at this point because you bought too much stuff).  You are free to enjoy the rest of your stay before you have to depart for the airport, weighed down by only your carry ons (and even those can be held for you at bell services until you are ready for them). 

In other words, DO THIS.  It makes things so much easier than trying to drag it all to the airport.

For more information and blogs on traveling tools, go to Disney Planning Tools

 
 
Written by Lucy, www.traveltimetravel.com
 
Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

Disney's Magical Express complimentary airport transfers...how it works! 2015

Magical Express has evolved over the years but is essentially the same as when it first began.  The concept is simple yet brilliant.  Disney has made getting to its property free (well, included anyway) and easy...a direct artery to the magic of Disney and irresistible to an unlimited amount of people.  How simple!  How easy!  It is really an amazing marketing concept as well as a practical one.  Disney knows the easier things are for a guest, the more likely they'll spend more money.

Magical Express must be added to a resort reservation, it isn't automatically added to a room or package.  Sometimes people don't know their flight information at first, and that is okay...it can be included in the beginning and flight information added later, or you or your travel agent can add it after flights are reserved.

Upon final payment of the package (or roughly a month before travel for room only reservations) yellow Magical Express tags will be mailed out.  If you want additional tags for more than one checked bag per person, that can be requested.  Make sure anything you need for the first few hours of your resort stay is in your carry on baggage, including things like swimsuits and Magic Bands. Before you arrive at your departure airport, place the tags on each of the checked bags, and drop them off as usual.  When you arrive to the Orlando International Airport (MCO) you proceed directly to level B 1 (SKIP baggage claim), and go to the Magical Express check in.  Have your Magic Bands easily accessible as you land, because Magical Express is the first time the bands will be used...you simply scan your band, and will be directed to the appropriate line for your resort. 

Once in line, I personally have never waited longer than 20 minutes, and typically it is much faster.  You'll be directed to your motor coach.  Board, sit back, and 35-40 minutes later you'll be pulling into Walt Disney World.

Once you arrive at your resort, you'll proceed to the service desk outside if you need luggage assistance, or continue on to check in or your room directly if you have received a text or email with your room number, see this BLOG for more information on that.

The day prior to your departure, you'll receive envelopes from Magical Express outlining your pick up time.  Make sure you look at it, because if anything is missing you'll need to give them a call to make sure your pick up time is correct. It will be approximately 3 hours prior to your flight departure.

On the day of, just be waiting by the Magical Express motor coach pick up area, and you'll be collected for your trip to the airport. 

A couple of tips...don't sit in the first few seats, because you might get a chatty driver like we have in the past, and sometimes you just don't want to be chatty!  There will be videos on your way to and from the resort, some that have helpful tips.  The videos used to be much better, now they seem somewhat piecemeal, but try to watch them anyway.  Drivers do accept gratuity and should be tipped, especially if they helped you stash your bags.  The motor coaches are operated by Mears Transportation, not Disney, although they are Disney busses. 

Here is a link to some more helpful tools: Disney Planning Tools

Written by Lucy
www.traveltimetravel.com

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

The latest and coolest Tech tools for practical guest use at Walt Disney World, current as of October 2015: My Disney Experience, Text room assigment notifications and more!

Disney has the coolest concepts when it comes to rides, shows, resorts, food...basically everything.  This is a quick update on the latest cool stuff it has unleashed to make the guest on property resort experience as easy and fun as possible.

 

First, the website.  I'm not going to stretch the truth and say it is good.  It is not.  It is amazing to me that Disney is so brilliant in countless other ways, and yet when it comes to website building and traffic, there is much to be desired.  It crashes, it times out, Stitch eats a lot of pages.  Just embrace that fact...their website is not good. 

Having said that, the concept of My Disney Experience is indicative of the brilliance Disney typically applies to everything.  The App could also be a bit easier to navigate, but whether you are online, using the App or both, it is a fun addition to planning your vacation.  If you are working with a travel agent, the two of you can work in conjunction.

If you have any Disney account log in online for any of their websites, you already have a log in for www.disneyworld.com.  If not, creating one is easy.  Then you get to play!  You can create profiles for your family members, change their character pictures to represent their unique personalities, and build a wish list.  Under reservations, you'll be able to see a quick snapshot of your reservation, including dates, resorts, and package type.  You'll also eventually see Dining, Tickets and Fast pass reservations as they are added.  That is the at a glance page where every reservation is in one place.

For each day of your trip, events, parks, and notes for the day can be added.  Reservations will automatically update in each day as they are made.  The one thing I wish is that Disney had an at a glance page with all of those things and not just for physical reservations.  And keep in mind, children's activities, Spa reservations, and a couple of restaurants will not currently show, so you have to physically add them to your itinerary.

In your profile, a credit card can and should be stored. This will make scheduling dining reservations quick and easy, for you or your travel agent.  Most can be made online or through the app.

Fast Passes
 
A new addition has been added...you can copy your current Fast Passes to another member of your party.  As long as the system has availability to match, it will, making it easy to choose for additional people if they choose to join you later.

Interchangeable Magic Bands
 

Magic Bands can be designed and ordered through MDE.  Make sure the shipping address is set as yours!  If you have multiple Magic Bands and they are all registered under you, they will all work interchangeably.  If you bring three on your trip, all three will have your reservations and unlock your room door.  It is quite amazing.

TIP!  If you have a package (not a room only) and you receive Magic Bands, then don't forget to lift up the bands and look underneath, your new luggage tags are there!



Online Check in
 

Online check in should be completed.  Only one credit card can be stored in MDE, so if you want to use a different one, you'll have to physically enter the information.  You also choose a pin for each person.  My pins didn't seem to work correctly and we did have to go to the front desk to have them fix it, but basically when you make a purchase at any store or restaurant, you scan your Magic Band and enter your pin. 

Texts and Emails with your room assignment

 
 

Here is where it gets extra fun.  If you complete online check in, then on your arrival day unless you check in super early you'll get an email and a text with your resort room number.  Basically when you arrive at your resort, you can skip check in entirely and proceed directly to your room.  The info will even include a link to the resort map, so you can see where to go. My first text thrilled me...how innovative!  And how awesome, I know ahead of time if I like my location or if I have to do a little sweet talking once I arrive.  And it WORKS.  Your Magic Band will pop open your room door like, well, magic...with you having done no standing or waiting or checking in.  Unbelievable!  We stayed at two different resorts during my recent visit and both times it was thrilling to get those texts and emails.  If you check in before your room is ready, then you'll get one with your room number once it is ready.  Extra awesome, Disney!

To see more planning tools, including Magical Express and Resort Airline check in, click here: Disney Planning Tools

All of the little tricks and tools can be a bit overwhelming, but these are the most helpful and newest tools for guest use to make maximizing your vacation a top priority.  The smoother it is, the more likely it is that you will visit again!

www.traveltimetravel.com
Lucy

Let us make your vacation even easier!  We'll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  We are the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact one of our agents today!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CINDERELLA'S ROYAL TABLE YES OR NO?!



After reading countless blogs and Facebook posts about whether or not Cinderella's Royal Table is worth it or not, regarding pricing, and the fact that this restaurant requires 2 table service credits, I decided to
examine this issue myself!
Keep in mind that this post is my personal opinion, and is nothing more nothing less, those of you who value my opinion, here it is:)
My daughter and I made the trek in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning , towards the castle, bursting with excitement , because we were off to have dinner in the castle, THE CASTLE!! The one and only, Cinderella's castle in the middle of the magic Kingdom!!
I have to say that even as a little girl, my mother said that you could just walk through, the castle, that there is nothing in there, it was just a prop! Even then I dreamed of what might be up there, and now, 42 years old, I finally have a royal invitation ,along with my daughter, Sydney, to dine at the castle , like royalty, with all of the other lucky Ladies and Lords of the Royal Court!
We checked in at 5 minutes before 7, and were immediately led down the hallway, where we were to meet the lovely Cinderella in all of her beauty! She so lovingly and sweetly walked up to greet, every person, young or old,and knelt down to each and every small child , hugs were served freely, taking a minute or 2 to talk with each one, taking them by the hand and leading them to the backdrop to have their picture made, and autograph signed! 



 
At this point, trying to get my shirt signed,I got starstruck, dropping my sharpie twice, as the fair Cinderella said to me, "it's ok! I've been excited to meet you too!"
After your picture is taken by the professional photographer , you are invited to wait until your name is called to go up the staircase to Cinderella's Royal Table!
This was one of my favorite times, people watching, seeing the look on everyone's faces as they get their chance to meet Cinderella! 

 
The bells ring and suddenly we hear, "SMITH PARTY, Her Royal Highness has extended her Royal invitation !
Hearts skip a beat and we are led up the staircase to the beautiful dining room, encircled with stained glass windows, grand chandeliers, Royal wallpaper , and we are seated and presented our menu smile emoticon.

 
Sydney and I opted for the crawfish, shrimp and grits for our appetizer, and the steak and shrimp was our main course , and for dessert, I had the clock strikes twelve while Sydney chose the dessert trio .I must say that I enjoyed this meal more than any other meal while at Disney hands down! It was absolutely delicious !
During our meal, there would be a short version of each fairy tale and an introduction of another princess, who would wisk out into the dining room and make her rounds to visit with each and every table, take photos and sign autographs , never making us feel rushed or silly for being adults! I honestly felt as if I were 4 yrs old and had so much fun feeling that way!


 
We met Aurora, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, and of course, Cinderella!
Our server was very attentive and took care of every detail of our meal, she was friendly and I appreciated her service.
As for the price and 2 table credits, considering that it is a character meal, the food was delicious , 5 princesses,and gratuity is included in the price. I spent 20-40 dollars on gratuity on every single meal while at Disney , my vote .....
Cinderella's Royal Table.....
ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!!!!


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