If you visit Walt Disney World as an Oldies couple, then every night is date night. More often than not though, we as Oldies, travel with an extended family group. One thing you can almost bet on is that your children will ask you to watch their children (your grandchildren of course) while they take a break and have a date night. Let them go and have fun because you understand how tired you were all the time taking care of them when they were kids and things have not changed over time. But – in doing this you have earned a Date Night For Oldies!!!
There are literally thousands of date night options you can choose from so I’ll just outline what I think is perfect for us and let you pick what is perfect for the two of you (yes – just the two of you).
- If you are touring in the morning, break away from the family group when they stop for lunch. You can either then catch a very light snack and head over to the Grand Floridian for a walk around. I can recommend Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge (wonderful experience) for a light lunch or skip the snack and head to the Grand Floridian Cafe for lunch. Either way make sure you have an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for the one you choose.
- After lunch, head back to your resort hotel for a quick swim and a nap before the big night. Choose one of the more romantic restaurants at Epcot for dinner (again, an ADR is imperative). I might suggest Tutto Italia, the Bistro de Paris, or even the San Angel Inn (authentic Mexican food) as all are very quiet and romantic even when they are at capacity.
- After dinner go on outside to view Illuminations at 9:00. A couple of precautions for Illuminations, make sure you are not downwind because the smoke is unbelievable and do not try to view Illuminations from the area between Future World and the World Showcase because that’s where the crowd will be standing in an attempt to avoid the crowd!! Try the area around the Italy Pavilion where the crowds are generally very light and after the show take a leisurely stroll around the World Showcase while everyone fights to catch the first bus. When you get to the buses, most of the other folks will be gone!! Make sure you pick a viewing spot that does not have an island in the way that may obscure your view.
It’s not just the youngsters who go on dates, we do too! Even if you have been married for 30-40-50 years or more it’s always a delight to spend some alone time with the one you love. Take the opportunity to enjoy each other in an amazingly romantic setting, Walt Disney World. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
Photo By Disney
This just might be the cry for the Disney fan of the Millennium. Back in the 1900’s though, the Disney fan wanted to meet… Walt Disney of course! And we have all read of many first-hand experiences of those who actually realized their dream. But likely, if you are a modern-day Disney fan, you never got to meet the man in person.
I’m in this group. Walt Disney died just one year after I was born. So I ‘met’ Walt for the first time on television as the Wonderful World of Color played on Sunday nights in the 1970’s. There was Uncle Walt (who was more like Grandfather Walt to me at age 10) smiling at me from the Tube, alive and well. I never new that he was dead as I watched him introduce every segment of my favorite show. I’d sit there and think about how cool it would be to meet him some day! You can imagine my disappointment when I learned that it would never happen.
As I get older, I find myself thinking about this more and more. Who else do I admire that I will never meet? How many more opportunities will slip by?
Do you have a favorite personality that you would like to meet? Someone in the Disney Universe that fires your imagination? Perhaps it is an Imagineer who designed one of your favorite Theme Park Attractions (like Zofia Kostyrko on the Animal Kingdom team). Or a Disney Animator who created some of your favorite characters (like Ollie Johnston). Maybe you think of one of the unsung heroes that toil behind the scenes doing what you have always wanted to do for a career (like the men and women mentioned on the Paths to Pixar segments).
Or maybe it is John Lasseter.
John has been called the modern-day Walt Disney, which I have heard him downplay. But of all of the colorful figures in the Cast Member stables, he is likely as close to that original Icon that we are ever going to get!
From his beginnings as a Jungle Cruise Skipper, to Pixar success, to being the Chief Operations Officer of Disney/Pixar Animation (actually, how does he manage to get that on a business card?) John has a lot on his resume! And where can I get some of those cool Hawaiian shirts he wears?
But I digress. So I want to meet John Lasseter.
Why? Not because I idolize the man, but because I respect his talent. So it would be awesome to have him critique something that I have created. As a Blogger, I write, draw, photograph, and video a lot of stuff. Is it good? How could it be better? If he had one word of advice for me, what would it be? We all should seek opportunities to gain such insights from those who know.
The Point: It’s too late to get Walt’s advice. But there’s still time to bug John!
- George’s Geeky Gift Guide: Walt Disney Imagineering (imaginerding.com)
- Disney Animation is closing the book on fairy tales (chipandco.com)
- Best Things I Love About Disney – But WHY The Jungle Cruise? (chipandco.com)
I had a chance to check this film out last week and boy was I surprised. I had hoped to see it in theaters earlier this year but due to having a child and one more on the way I don’t get out to the movies as much as I used to.
Even though I didn’t see it in theaters it was still on my action item list for 2010. I was pleasantly surprised watching this film. Disney really did a nice job with the special effects and plot in this film. Nick Cage was spot on for the Sorcerer although even with his tough outside he still had a soft creamy center.
The apprentice played by Jay Baruchel was kinda whiny and Cage’s character should have smacked him around some. I mean the world is gonna end and your off courting you middle school sweetheart. Although she does help out in the end so I guess it was ok.
This movie was a little dark so I probably wouldn’t let little ones watch this till they get a little older.
Overall it was a great movie. I have seen it twice now and could easily see this many more times. I am unsure why it didn’t do well in the box office but I believe for fans of fantasy films this is Disney’s Hidden Gem.
Let me know what you thought in the comment section below.
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Coming to Bluray & DVD on November 30th (chipandco.com)
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a hard-ticketed event in the Magic Kingdom on select nights during November and December, allows guests to see special holiday themed shows and a parade in a less crowded park. For party goers, the park stays open until midnight; you can enter as early as 4:00 p.m., but the party officially begins at 7:00. For many people, it’s the highlight of their holiday trip, but in these difficult economic times when vacations are a luxury, spending nearly $300 for a family of four to attend a party can be a big decision. Here’s a few facts to help you decide whether it’s worth it for you:
Since Disney theme park tickets are more expensive on the front end, meaning you pay for for a four-day ticket than a seven-day ticket, it doesn’t benefit you to skip a park day unless your trip is very short. For example, a MVMCP ticket costs around $60. If you’re on a short three-day trip, you could cut buy a two-day park ticket and a MVMCP ticket and only pay a few dollars more, but if you’re on a seven day trip, you’re only saving a few dollars by not going to the parks that day.
MVMCP tickets cost around what you pay to add the park hopper option to your theme park tickets. This option allows you to hop every day of your trip, whether you’re visiting for two days or for ten days. Park hopping means you can leave a crowded park for a quieter one. It means you don’t have to plan your dining around your park days. It’s very convenient. Personally, I find it indispensable. If my family’s budget could only absorb park hoppers or party tickets, I’d pick the hoppers, but keep in mind this is how I visit the parks. If you tend to go to one park and stay there, the park hopping option is probably not a better deal.
Attending the party guarantees you at least one late night in the Magic Kingdom, which is at its best at night during the holidays. Visiting during November and December is great from the perspecitve of offering lower crowds, but the parks close earlier (except during holiday weeks). The Magic Kingdom, for example, will close at 7:00 at least three nights a week for the party, so it’s conceivable that you could visit for an entire week in early December and only get one late night in the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, that night will probably be an extra magic hours night, which means it will be crowded. Buying the ticket is worth it to me just to get one relatively uncrowded night in the parks; it really makes the whole trip.
I’m not a huge parade fan, but I make an exception for these special parties, which are generally excellent and allow you to really see what Disney imagineers can really do. You can’t see this parade until after the 19th (when the parties officially end) so if you enjoy parades or if you want to see something different, the price of admission may be worth it to you.
Now let’s talk about crowds. Unless you’re attending a party on the weekend or the last week of the event, these types of special parties are generally not crowded. While the first parade and castle show of the night will be packed, subsequent shows and the next parade will generally not be. The same goes for the attractions, many of which are a walk-on. I’ve spent many a cool evening running around the Magic Kingdom from ride to ride. I’ll admit, I’ve missed out on many of the character meet and greets and special shows just for the thrill of being able to go on as many rides as I care to, but to me it’s worth the cost.
I think MVMCP is a fun, exciting night. Going to the party is, for me, the absolute highlight of our trip. If you can do it without worrying about the budget, by all means, attend. If you can’t go, there’s still plenty of holiday magic to go around. In fact, it’s everywhere right now in Disney World.
Photo courtesy of Mommy from the Midwest.
Among the many fun and festive things to do at Walt Disney World during the Holiday Season, is “decoration hopping”: that is, visiting the various Disney resorts to see the wonderful decorations. If you have a Disney trip planned for the month of December, you are in for a treat and I encourage you to plan some time in your trip to do just this.
It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that Disney, the master at creating scenic backdrops for a year’s worth of events and festivities, is at its glory during this time of year. The parks are, of course, decked out with lights, wreathes, garlands, trees, and many other holiday symbols and decorations celebrating all the winter holidays. But overlooked by many who visit during this time of the year, are the resorts where, in my opinion, the true Christmas “gems” are, when it comes to decorating. For here, the Disney imagineers and decorating staff, combined with the Disney florists, bakers, and pastry chefs, create some real Disney holiday magic.
Perhaps the best known, is at the Grand Floridian, where every year, a life-size Gingerbread House is created. Intricate in it’s detail, this is actually an edible creation, where castmembers then set up shop and sell some of the most delicious gingerbread cookies throughout the Christmas Season…and I speak from personal experience as one who is not hugely fond of gingerbread….it is yummy!
You also won’t want to miss the Wilderness Lodge, whose theme is somehow perfect for this time of the year. Here amidst roaring fireplaces (and yes, it gets cool enough in Florida at this time of year sometimes for those fireplaces to seem pretty cozy), you will find a towering Christmas tree as the focal piece for the Wilderness Lodge lobby. It is several stories high, and the only word I can use to describe it is….amazing. But be sure to look beyond the sheer size and take a peak at the ornaments, and other decorations that festoon the Wilderness Lodge. In fact, be sure to do this at each resort, because the decorations are not one-size-fits-all: instead, you will see that the theme of the resort is reflected in that resort’s decorations. So at the Wilderness Lodge, expect to find lots of Native American and Pacific Northwest-inspired touches that add to the uniqueness of the decorations.
Speaking of unique, try to visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge as well, to see its equally impressive, and enormous Christmas tree. Here, of course, the decorations are inspired by African art and they are not only beautiful, but fascinating and unique.
Still looking for more Christmas inspiration? Then try to stop by the Boardwalk Inn and the Yacht and Beach Club, because they also have some very interesting holiday displays. At the Yacht/Beach Club you will find another edible masterpiece, a beautiful carousel. And the last time we were at the Boardwalk there was a great Christmas-inspired gazebo complete with Donald and Daisy Duck. Of course, each of these resorts has their own themed holiday decorations. Take a look at the beautiful plantings and gardens also, for additional holiday inspiration.
These are, of course, just some highlights: each resort has its own way of celebrating this “most wonderful time of the year”. While you’re visiting each one, take time to have a bite to eat as well. You will find some of the best restaurants on Disney World property to be located at the resorts.
Enjoy “decoration hopping” and most of all enjoy your Walt Disney World Christmas vacation!
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. She will be posting live updates from her family’s upcoming New Year’s Disney vacation on The Affordable Mouse facebook page.
- 10 Tips for Making the Most of Your Disney World Christmas Vacation (theaffordablemouse.com)
- Top 10 Disney World Holiday Favorites by Chris (chipandco.com)
- WDW Winter 2011 Room Only Savings Offer (mousemisers.com)