Happy Birthday Walt!

December 5, 2012 Cheryl 1

Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois. Today is his 111th birthday!!  He and his brother Roy co-founded Walt Disney Productions, which is still one of the best-known motion-picture production companies in the world. Disney was an innovative animator and created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse (he even provided the original voice!!). He won 22 Academy Awards during his lifetime, and was the founder of Disneyland in California.  He was in the process of building the “Florida Project” (later named Walt Disney World) at the time of his death in 1966.

Not only is Walt Disney known for his vivid imagination and creativity and his magical theme parks and timeless characters, he is very often remembered for what he had to say.  Here are some of his most famous quotes:


“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

“The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.”

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

“A man should never neglect his family for business.”

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”

“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.”

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

“I believe in being an innovator.”

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

“I do not like to repeat successes, I like to go on to other things.”

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

“What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

“We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.”

“We have created characters and animated them in the dimension of depth, revealing through them to our perturbed world that the things we have in common far outnumber and outweigh those that divide us.”

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Happy 111th Birthday, and thanks for making your dreams a reality for us all!

Hello Florida! 2014 Disney Cruise Line Itineraries Announced

December 4, 2012 Cheryl 0
[caption id="attachment_1658" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Disney Dream®. Photo courtesy of Disney Destinations® All Rights Reserved.[/caption]

I know it is more than a year away, but this morning the Disney Cruise Line® announced it’s itinerary line-up for 2014.  Looks like there will be no more sailings from Galveston, TX, but you will have more opportunities than ever to visit Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, or combine a cruise with a visit to the Walt Disney World® Resort to experience New Fantasyland® or ride the updated Test Track in Epcot®.

In the early part of 2014, Disney Magic® will return to Port Canaveral, joining Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, while the Disney Wonder® will call Miami it’s home. You will be able to choose from a variety of itineraries – from quick getaways to week-long tropical vacations with something for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Sailing from Port Canaveral

3- and 4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Dream departures Jan. 2 – Aug. 31, 2014; Disney Magic departures  Jan. 6 – May 16, 2014

7-night Eastern Caribbean
• Ports: Port Canaveral, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 11 – Aug. 23, 2014

7-night Western Caribbean 
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 4 – April 26, 2014

7-night Western Caribbean, including Jamaica
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures May 10 – Aug. 30, 2014

Sailing from Miami

4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Miami, Castaway Cay, Nassau, Key West
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 15 – April 23, 2014

5-night Caribbean
• Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 10 – April 18, 2014

5-night Caribbean, including Castaway Cay
• Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 19 – April 27, 2014

Contact me today to book any of these great vacations!  Lots of 2013 departure dates are still available as well!!

Test Track 2.0

December 1, 2012 Cheryl 0

The new and improved Test Track attraction, located at Epcot®, will be opening to the public on December 6th, 2012 (a very busy day for Grand Openings at the Walt Disney World Resort!!)….but if you can’t wait to see it for yourself, here is a little video of the entire ride courtesy of Orlando Attractions Magazine – enjoy!!

“Magical Mouse Schoolhouse” Book Giveaway

December 1, 2012 Cheryl 4

Are you a homeschooling parent, or just looking for new ways to make your trips to The Walt Disney World Resort (even after you return) more educational for your kids?  Then this is the book for you  Magical Mouse Schoolhouse by Jodi Whisenhunt.

From the back cover:

With MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE: Learn While You Play at Walt Disney World Resort, children and their parents can think outside the textbook and stretch the walls of the home classroom with Walt Disney entertainment. Have you ever watched Tinker Bell light the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park? Learn about her magical glow and measure luminescence using glow-in-the-dark objects. Have you ever ridden Dumbo the Flying Elephant? Build a paper airplane with an elephant’s proportions and learn about aviation. MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE covers a wide variety of categories—from the history of Walter Elias Disney to the magic behind animation techniques—and leaves you with fresh ways to keep your kids engaged in the learning process. This invaluable resource belongs in every home, so come and learn while you play where Disney IS school!

Each chapter is written about a specific Walt Disney World attraction, and includes a brief history of the attraction is given within the first half of every chapter, along with some fun facts.  The second half of each chapter is called “Today’s Takeaway” which suggests an assignment to complete, a family activity to do, or a recipe to make.  Magical Mouse Schoolhouse can be used by families with kids of all ages.  There are plenty of activities and lessons geared towards little ones – such as making your own fossils using play-doh or trying 3 different recipes to make bubbles. Older students can attempt assignments such as making your own 3D pictures (using photo editing software), or making your own motion powered generator.  There really is something for everyone within this book!

The author, Jodi Whisenhunt, is a Disney-devoted, veteran homeschooling mother of three children who is dedicated to informing the homeschooling community of the educational value of Walt Disney entertainment.  As part of the HoliDaze Gift-Away I am doing with dragynally.com, you can enter to win a copy of her book.  It is also available for purchase at Amazon.

Enter here, and good luck!!!

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Review: The Moroccan Pavilion At Epcot’s World Showcase

November 28, 2012 Cheryl 0
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The Moroccan Pavilion is part of the World Showcase within Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  And although I have never been to Morocco, being in this pavilion transports me there.  I love the scent of the air, the feeling of walking down a narrow street in a far away land, and the way the shops are arranged – like in a real Middle Eastern souk.  Read more about the Moroccan Pavilion in my article on Mousekejournals.com!

New Fantasyland Preview!

November 26, 2012 Cheryl 3
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My friend Jessica S. recently took a family vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth, and was lucky enough to get behind the wall and preview the New Fantasyland!  Read all about her experience here and check out all of her great pictures!!

The New Fantasyland is the largest expansion to the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom since it’s opening.  It is now in Preview, and will be having its Grand Opening on December 6, 2012.  The New Fantasyland includes two new sections – Storybook Circus (which is now fully open) and Enchanted Forest.  The Storybook Circus section includes the new and improved Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride, the Barnstormer, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station: and the new Walt Disney World Railroad Fantasyland Station!  The Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Ariel’s Grotto, which will all open officially on December 6th.  Later in 2103 The Princess Fairytale Hall will open, and in 2014 the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will open.  In addition to the rides and attractions, the architecture is beautiful, and there are lots of characters and new food items to try as well.  Based on everything I have heard and seen, this new section is beautiful and a must see for the whole family!  Have you seen the New Fantasyland?  What did you think?

The HoliDaze Gift-Away

November 23, 2012 Cheryl 0

Happy Black Friday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, and that (if you were so inclined) got all of your holiday shopping wrapped up this morning!  I, on the other hand, did not get up, and still have a bunch of shopping to do!

To help out with some gift giving this season, I am participating in a huge series of giveaways with my friend Dana, who runs Dragyn Ally.  She has a whole bunch of great prizes as part of her HoliDaze Gift Guide promotion.  I will be giving away two great books as part of the series, but more on that later.   For now, here is the best part – one lucky winner will win a $200 Gift Card to either PayPal or your choice of location!  That is a great prize, especially this time of year!   And in the holiday spirit, the bloggers who were involved in this giveaway (me, and a bunch of others) also raised $100 to help a family that has been terribly affected by the storm Sandy that hit the northeast.

You can enter below – good luck!!

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2013 Walt Disney World® Marathon Discount Rooms

November 21, 2012 Cheryl 2
[caption id="attachment_1581" align="alignleft" width="230"] Photo courtesy of runDisney®[/caption]

The 2013 Walt Disney World® Marathon, taking place on Sun, January 13, 2013, will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Marathon.  And what a weekend it will be – the events include a marathon, half-marathon, Goofy’s Challenge (both the full and half marathons!), the family 5K, kids races, as well as an expo and pasta party!  Not running?  There are tons of opportunities to cheer on those that are!!

With a course that travels through all four Walt Disney World® theme parks, the Walt Disney World® Marathon route offers plenty of scenery for runners and will be the most magical 26.2 miles you will ever run on Earth! The course starts at Epcot®, continues on to the Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® before an awesome finish back at Epcot®. Along the way, you will find many photo opportunities along the way with Disney characters and parade floats.  In celebration of the 20th Anniversary, runDisney® has made a couple changes to the route. Between miles 8 & 9, the course will take a lap around the Walt Disney World® Speedway! Also, a run through Champion® Stadium, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves will be part of the course! A “Mile 20 Spectacular” is also being planned inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, but full entertainment details have yet to be released! Also, an additional post-race party will be held in the Downtown Disney® Area on Sunday.  The half-marathon (held on Saturday) will wind through the Magic Kingdom® and Epcot®!

Now for the REALLY good news –  as an extra bonus, Off to Neverland Travel is offering discounted room rates at select Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels for Disney’s Marathon Weekend. Availability of these discounts are limited, so contact me today to reserve your spot.

Booking Window:

Today through December 5, 2012 (or while availability lasts)

Offer Details:

Save up to 40% on your stay for  Disney’s Marathon Weekend at select Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels. Available Resorts include:

  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Stays may be extended to arrive before or depart after Disney’s Marathon Weekend, but are based on Resort availability.  Discount tickets and dining plans are available as well.  Call me today!!


6th Night FREE Plus $150 Resort Credit at Aulani

November 21, 2012 Cheryl 0

A paradise awaits you at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’i. Built into every detail at the resort is the Hawaiians’ cherished connection between nature and humanity. Enjoy the many inclusive features of the resort – from entertainment to breathtaking water features to special activities just for kids and more! This 21 acre resort is the perfect place to experience Hawai’i, and now is your chance to save!

Offer details:

Book by Jan. 15, 2013 and receive your 6th night free* when booking a 6-night or longer stay at Aulani. Plus, receive a one-time Resort credit of $150 for you to use during your stay.

Booking Window:

Book now – Jan. 15, 2013

Travel Window:

Offer available for most stays between Jan. 8 – Feb. 15 and Feb. 19 – Mar. 10, 2013.

Contact me today to book this dream vacation!!

Join the Holiday Giveaway Hop

November 15, 2012 Cheryl 4

Need a gift card for your upcoming Disney vacation or for your holiday shopping?  Here is your chance to win one!!  I have partnered with my friend Dana over at dragynally.com for a special event.  She is part of a holiday giveaway hop with 130 different bloggers, where each participant is giving away at least $25 worth of prizes, plus there are some great grand prizes as well!!

You can enter to win a $25 Disney Gift Card here, and after you’re done checking out this giveaway you can participate in the giveaway hop!  The giveaway starts now and ends November 29 at 11:59pm EST. The rules are in the rafflecopter and when in doubt read Dana’s giveaway tips and tricks . Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: DragynAlly is only responsible for the giveaway of a $25 Disney gift card that is posted on www.dragynally.com. All other giveaways are the responsibility of the bloggers/sponsors running them including the grand prize.

Here is some additional information on the Happy Holiday’s Giveaway Hop:

Happy Holidays Button
Welcome to the Happy Holidays Giveaway Hop hosted by Mom to Bed by 8 and Life With Two Boys!  The holidays will be before you know it so to make things a little easier on you and your wallet we decided to give you an opportunity to WIN your gifts this year! Several awesome blogs have to come together to bring you some amazing prizes that will look great sitting under your tree Christmas morning. After you enter our giveaway make sure you hop around to the rest of the participating blogs for more chances to win! Along with all of the individual prizes we also have TONS of awesome Grand Prizes for everyone on your list including Baby, Kids (boys and girls), Teens, and Adults. The Grand Prizes include a Babyhome Emotion Stroller, Little Tikes Classic Castle, Pillow Pets Dream Lites, Pillow Racers, Furby, $50 The Children’s Place Gift Card, Nokia Lumia 900, and a Keurig Elite Brewing System!