May 28, 2012

Helpful Website: Military Disney Tips

On this Memorial Day, I was going to write a post giving all the details of Military ticket and resort discounts currently offered at Disney World.  But why repeat what someone else has already done?  Steve at Military Disney Tips runs a fabulous site loaded with all of the information Military families need to plan their own Disney World vacation and take advantage of the deals Disney has to offer just for them.

Some great area's to visit on Military Disney Tips:
  • Military Discounts - Great place to start.  Military members will learn what discounted tickets are available and where to buy them tax free.  This page also tells of which resorts are discounted for Military members and their families.
  • Discounts for Disabled Vets - This page shows exactly what discounts Disabled Vets are eligible for.
  • Shades of Green Resort Page - This resort is dedicated to serving the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services community, their families, and other eligible Dept. of Defense employees.
  • MDT's Blog - Contains up-to-date posts on military discounts and other fun news.
If you know of a Military family looking to do Disney at an affordable price, send them to Military Disney Tips!  And visit their facebook page too!

Thank you to those who have served and to those that have paid the ultimate price for our Freedom.  Have a Grateful Memorial Day!

May 18, 2012

EPCOT's Flower & Garden Festival Comes to an End

One of my favorite events at EPCOT comes to an end this Sunday (May 20th) - the International Flower & Garden Festival.  With over 100 topiaries on display, EPCOT looks (and smells!) its best.  If you've never been to the Flower & Garden festival, it's worth the trip to see it!  Lots of topiary to admire, educational seminars on landscaping and gardening, extra playgrounds for the kids, and educational displays are all a part of this festival.  Didn't catch this years Flower & Garden Festival?  Plan to see it next year!  It usually runs the 2nd week of March through the 3rd week in May.

TIP:  The best time to hit EPCOT during the Flower & Garden festival is the first week of May - lower crowds,  "regular" season pricing for Disney Resorts (meaning you pay less than what you would during "peak" season during March & April), and it's not yet humid!

Here are a few pictures from this years EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival.  Enjoy!

Can you see the peacock in the picture below?

Bambi's Butterfly Garden

May 8, 2012

Helpful Website: Allergy Free Mouse!

For those of you that have food allergies (or kids with food allergies) Allergy Free Mouse is a website that I find really helpful when trying to plan out where to eat on my next Disney World Vacation.  This site is full of great and current information.

Here's a few areas on their site that I find really helpful:
  • Allergy Free Foods by Location - This page, under the "Dining" tab, lists allergen-free foods that are almost always available at WDW, along with the location where they can be purchased.
  • Check out both the Quick Service Dining and Casual Dining links under the "Dining" tab.  You'll find recent reviews of guests that ate at certain restaurants and received an allergen-free meal.
  • There is also a "Reviews" tab where you can read allergy-free reviews specific to each Park.
Take a look around their website, there's a lot you can learn about which will certainly help you plan a better vacation!  Be sure to bookmark their site for future reference and like them on facebook too!

Here's one last item of interest, if you've been to WDW recently (or you're headed there soon) and have a food allergy review of your own, you can submit a review to Allergy Free Mouse here, and be entered into their quarterly contest to win a $100 Disney Gift Card!

May 3, 2012

Helpful Website: Kenny the Pirate!

This is one of my favorite blogs to watch!  Kenny the Pirate keeps the most up-to-date Character Schedules and Show Schedules I've ever seen.  If you're a Character Hunter his character schedules are very helpful.  Each Character Schedule gives the times of day each Character appears and their location - this allowed us to fine tune our park touring plan, as we were able to plan which attractions to do and make sure we had time to find the characters we wanted to meet.  The Show Schedules give each time a show is performing and includes unpublished shows (shows not listed on Disney's Times Guide).  Unpublished shows such as DiVine at Animal Kingdom, or the Frontier Land Hoedown at Magic Kingdom.  These are little pop-up, or surprise, shows that occur daily, but many visitors miss out on them because they don't know they exist.  With Kenny's Show Schedule, you'll be able to plan your days so you don't miss out on anything you want to see!

At the top of his website you'll see Links titled Character Schedules and Show Schedules.  Use those links to find characters or shows at each park.  There's even a list for telling which characters appear at Character Meals.

What I like to do is print 1 page of schedules for each park.  For example, on one side I'll print the Character Schedule for Hollywood Studios, on the back of that sheet I'll print the Show Schedule for Hollywood studios.  That way I've got each park's Character & Show times on one sheet of paper that I can fold up and stick in my park bag!  I found it very handy to have and refer to throughout the day while we were touring each park.

The blog portion of Kenny's site is also fun to read, as he'll inform you of Character news such as when new Characters start appearing, Character relocation, or any Characters about to retire.

Go check out Kenny the Pirate and use his site to as a guide when making your touring plans.  He usually updates the schedules every Saturday.  I've noticed the show times don't vary too much from week to week, so if you're just a couple months out from your next trip, go ahead and tentatively plan on the times that are posted now.  Just be sure to print off the actual schedules on the Saturday prior to your next trip and tweak your touring plans if needed.  Happy Planning!