Cinderella’s Royal Table – A “Boy Mom’s” Perspective

Cinderella’s Royal Table – A “Boy Mom’s” Perspective

Written by Ashely Jones – Travel Planner with Magical Tripcations Being a Disney kid, I can say that I have always felt fortunate to have so many magical memories from Walt Disney World.  My parents took my brother and I every other year and we had a blast riding the rides, eating Mickey-themed food, and seeing as many characters as we could fit in during the week. I would wait all year just to take my first glimpse of Cinderella’s iconic castle at the end of Main Street, USA.  To me the castle symbolized all of Disney and, to this day, I associate it with joy and Disney magic.   However, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that you can eat inside Cinderella Castle.  This was a game changer for me. Having this knowledge about Cinderella’s Royal Table (CRT), I wanted to make sure that my children were able to have this experience. I decided that I was going to take them, and it would be something that we could experience together, for the first time! Meeting Cinderella INSIDE Cinderella at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park Fast forward to present day, I am a proud mother of a “Cars” loving, insect chasing, dinosaur seeking, four-year-old BOY. My son loved going to Walt Disney World, but his favorites were not the princesses, and he never seemed all that concerned with Cinderella Castle. Regardless, I had set this as a goal as something I wanted to give my child, and so I made the advance dining reservation for CRT and went in not really knowing what to expect. It...
A Magical Run Weekend

A Magical Run Weekend

Before my very first runDisney Event – 2010 Walt Disney World Half Marathon – January 2010 Written by Erica V. Ellis, Travel Planner with Magical Tripcations I’ve considered myself a “runner” since 2009 when I trained for my very first half marathon.  Since then I’ve run one full marathon, eleven half marathons & countless 10Ks and 5Ks.  Of those eleven half marathons, four of them have been runDisney races.  I can safely say that not all runs are created equal and runDisney races are simply a magical time!  With fun themes, character greetings along the course, & plenty of Disney magic to keep you going, these races should be on every runner’s bucket list, no matter your experience level.  At this time, races are only available at Walt Disney World in the United States.  Four different race weekends are currently held at different times of the year.  I’ve run in 3 of the 4 current race weekends that are held at Walt Disney World.  Here are my take aways from all four of my runDisney experiences:  Tip 1 – Register ASAP Make sure you follow runDisney on Facebook.  There they will post the dates for all the upcoming races as well as the registration opening dates.  These races fill up FAST, so be prepared!  In 2017 and 2018 runDisney has allowed Travel Agents that partner with Disney to book runDisney race packages for upcoming races, before the general public.  The main stipulation is that you must book your race registration with a Disney Resort room reservation or Disney Resort vacation package.  If you cancel your room or package, your...
Disney Cruise Line – Without Your Kids

Disney Cruise Line – Without Your Kids

Written by Kimberly McClintock Evans – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner If I had a nickel for every person who laughed or gave me a double take when I said I went on a Disney Cruise for a week without my kids, I could have paid for the trip! But I am not sure why?  When you think about it, Disney Parks are unlike other parks.  Disney Hotels are unlike other hotels.  Disney movies, well they are some of the highest grossing, most entertaining movies of all times. Companies actually hire Disney Executives and the Disney Institute teaches people “how to be more like Disney.” Disney is one of the strongest brands worldwide that is synonymous with cleanliness, excellence and unparalleled service.  Why wouldn’t I want that on my vacation? But without the kids?  What about all the kids? What did I do for 7 days on a ship full of kids? The first time I took a cruise my kids were tiny…that was the first place since I had kids where: I ate a full meal from beginning to end.  I had a full meal even at the temperature it was intended to be served at!! (Not 3 hours later while my kids are in the tub and I am standing over them eating cold meat.)  I didn’t have to do anything but eat and enjoy my family.  I didn’t even have to cut meat.  If someone spilled a drink, there are two people to come and clean it up within seconds.  I didn’t even have to pour ketchup.  While that can happen in many places there are differences-my...
All you need to know about Castaway Cay

All you need to know about Castaway Cay

Written by Kimberly McClintock Evans – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Did you know Disney has a private Island for guests aboard Disney Cruise Line on certain sailings?  If your itinerary has a day at Castaway Cay, (pronounced “key”) here is everything you need to know for a great day off the ship and a few suggestions and surprises you may not know about.  Isn’t she a beauty? Make sure to snap a photo of your Disney Cruise Line ship as your disembark on Castaway Cay First a few facts: The island is only for Disney Cruise Line guests.  No other ships or cruise lines will dock here.  Only those from your cruise will be docking on that day. Some cruise itineraries include a “double dip” Castaway Cay Stop.  Contact one of our amazing Disney Travel Planners for more information on different itineraries.  Although Disney Cast Members won’t often tell you, there is a sordid history of the island.  Disney has a 99-year lease on the Bahamian Island.  Castaway Cay was actually named Gorda Cay, had no beaches, and was a drug smuggler stop in the 70s.  While you don’t hear much about it, the landing strip is part of a clue.  In my head however, I like to believe it was really a Jack Sparrow stop and if I dig long enough and hard enough I will find some treasure or rum smuggled onto the island.  A much better story, I think!Sometimes it’s fun to find the approximately 50 – 60 staff members that actually live on the island and ask them a little about Island life. Top things...
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party

Written by Jennifer Jamieson – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner A trip to Disney World is definitely magical but there are also plenty of opportunities to add extra magic during your stay. From special character meals to behind the scenes tours to spa treatments and dessert parties, there is plenty to choose from when looking to celebrate a special occasion or just for an extra bit of fun! Today we’d like to highlight the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood studios as we found it to be an out of this Disney world experience and put our trip to this park into hyper drive! The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party is a special ticketed event meaning that there is an extra ticket that is purchased in addition to the regular park admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Currently, the cost is $79 per adult (10 and over) and $45 per child (3 to 9) including tax and gratuities. The party ticket includes an array of delectable desserts (all you care to enjoy savory and sweet treats) and specialty drinks – alcoholic beverages for those over 21 or soft drinks, coffee and water, too – to be enjoyed in a setting inspired by the films and surrounded by movie props inside Star Wars Launch Bay. Guests check-in for the party just outside Launch Bay in the Animation Courtyard.  We arrived about 20 minutes before the party started to check-in and we were greeted by Cast Members who gave us instructions along with special lanyards to wear allowing us to enter and easily come and go as...
#PrincessGoals

#PrincessGoals

Written by Maritza Navarro – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner If you have a princess-obsessed little one and want to meet them at Walt Disney World, here are some tips and tricks that have been learned over several Walt Disney World vacations: Tip 1 – Character Meals The easiest way to meet princesses quickly is to book a princess themed character meal.  The most coveted of these is Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom which is based on availability for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.  There you will meet and take a formal photo with Cinderella and meet four other princesses at your meal.  Another option is at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, located in the Norway Pavilion inside the World Showcase at EPCOT.  This is based on availability for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You will take a formal photograph with Belle in her yellow gown and then meet four other princesses at your meal.  Another option to consider for a princess meal, on a smaller scale, is at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. There you will meet Rapunzel and Princess Ariel, along with Flynn Rider, and Prince Eric.   This is only available for breakfast and it’s a delicious meal.  The final option is at 1900 Park Fare (dinner only) inside the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where you will meet Cinderella, Prince Charming, Cinderella’s step-sisters, Anastasia and Druzella, and Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s step-mother.  This is such a fun dinner with amazing character interactions. If you are on either the Disney Dining Plan or the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, all of these options would be...
Top 10 things to do at Pixar Pier

Top 10 things to do at Pixar Pier

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner   Our Magical Tripcations Team was hard at work during the opening week of Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure!  Here’s our Top 10 “Must Do” list while visiting! Visit during Pixar Fest! – This is a limited time festival that ends on September 3, 2018, but there’s definitely still time to book your Disneyland Vacation for Summer 2018.  Pixar Fest offers guests a variety of special foods, parades, and memorabilia.  While Pixar Pier is here to stay, Pixar Fest is for a limited time! Have lunch or dinner at Lamplight Lounge – This newly renovated restaurant is located at the entrance of the pier.  The menu is creative and fun!  Delicious food and cocktails are available for the whole family.  For a full menu, we highly recommend talking to your Magical Tripcations Travel Planner about making a reservation in their dining room.  The top level of the restaurant & patio is available for walk up guests, but still requires you to check-in and leave your name with the hostess.  Our group did a walk-up seating and waited about 50 minutes. Shop around Knick Knacks Souvenir Shop – This gift shop is right across from Lamplight Lounge and has the most adorable items featuring everyone’s favorite Pixar characters. Eat ALL THE FOOD! – While some food offerings are for a limited time, others are here to stay! Our team did the hard work & sampled some for you!  Some of our favorites include:  Chocolate Chip Cookie from Jack Jack Cookie Num Nums outside of the Incredicoaster; Soft Serve Lemon ice cream at the...
Celebrating your birthday at Walt Disney World

Celebrating your birthday at Walt Disney World

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Disney vacations are special and magical, no matter when you take them.  Add a birthday to the mix and it becomes even more magical!  Here are our Top 5 ways to celebrate your birthday while at Walt Disney World! Let your Magical Tripcations Travel Planner know that you’ll be celebrating a birthday while on vacation! Your planner will add that tidbit of information on to your reservation.  When you scan your Magic Bands at park entrances, for fast passes, etc., the cast members will be alerted to this.  You’ll probably get lots of extra “happy birthdays” during your stay. If you aren’t given a birthday button at check-in, make sure you ask for one at your Disney Resort’s front desk or at any of the guest service locations at the parks. Once you have it, wear it proudly!  It’s always fun to hear “happy birthday” from cast members and park goers.  Who knows, maybe you’ll get some extra pixie dust because of it! Talk to your Magical Tripcations Travel Planner about a special gift package or room celebration through Disney Floral & Gifts. It can be as simple as a small cake in your room, or a full-on room makeover to help you celebrate the special day.  Prices vary and can satisfy pretty much any budget.  For my daughter’s third birthday we ordered her a special Princess Gift Basket and a small chocolate cake that was delivered to our room the evening of her birthday.  When we arrived back to our room, the surprise was waiting for her and...
Disney World Monorail Crawl

Disney World Monorail Crawl

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Have you heard that Walt Disney World has started the “Highway In The Sky Dine-Around” which, according to the Walt Disney World website, allows you to climb “aboard the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail for a culinary journey where each destination offers a distinctively delicious experience.”   We at Magical Tripcations are excited to see this new Disney Dining experience being offered to guests!  For now, it is only being offered a few nights a week, so what if you can’t make your itinerary work for one of those nights but you still want to eat and drink your way around the “Monorail Loop”?  Well, don’t you worry, we have your back!   In September, during a “research” trip to Walt Disney World during the first weekend of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival four travel planners from the Magical Tripcations team took a spin on the Monorail and here we offer our findings from the evening filled with delectable foods, yummy drinks, plenty of laughs and fireworks to cap off the evening!  This journey is also sometimes referred to as the “Monorail Crawl.”  **Disclaimer, we recommend this be done with a 21 & over crowd.**   We were coming from Epcot so we disembarked the Epcot Monorail and loaded onto the Resort Monorail at the Ticket and Transportation Center.  From there we hit up our first stop, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  We arrived at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto around 4:45pm on a Thursday afternoon and found there to be available space.  We hopped up on some bar...
Tips for Traveling to Disney World with a Toddler

Tips for Traveling to Disney World with a Toddler

Written by Erica V. Ellis – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner Are you contemplating a trip to Walt Disney World with a toddler?  Has the idea of taking someone under the age of 3 also made you question your sanity?  Fear not, there are some great reasons why taking your toddler to Walt Disney World before they turn 3 is an awesome idea.  We have polled our Magical Tripcations Travel Team and come up with tips that will help you not only stay sane but have a very memorable and magical time!   FREE TICKET – Did you know that children under the age of 3 do not require a park ticket? That’s right, they are considered an infant until they turn 3 and are free of charge to enter any of the Disney Parks.  Please note, if you work with one of our Magical Tripcations Travel Planners to create a vacation package that includes a dining plan, they will NOT be included in that plan, so your child would either eat off of your plate or you would need to pay out of pocket for them during meal time.     5 Can Stay for the Price of 4 – Did you know that a portion of Disney’s Resorts have a maximum occupancy of 4 in a room?  If you are a Party of 5, in which one is under the age of 3, you still have the option of staying in resort room with a maximum occupancy of 4.  Your toddler (under the age of 3) does not count towards the total number of occupants in a room. ...