Archive for January, 2009

Typhoon Lagoon

January 16th, 2009 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Disney World, Rides

Want to swim with the sharks or ride the crest of a wave at Disney World?  Plunge down Humunga Kowabunga water slide or just float your cares away around the park in Castaway Creek? Then Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is the place for you!

One of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is the Surf Pool. And yes I do mean surf pool! This is no ordinary wave pool. Here you can ride a 6 foot wave – and even (for an extra charge) learn to surf.

Want to swim with sharks? Then head to the Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon.  Of course the sharks  are pretty small and completely safe, but it is a lot of fun. A Cast Member will hand you your own personal snorkel gear fro free and you can head off into the Shark Reef.

If it is water slides that you are looking for then Typhoon Lagoon has some great options too.  Looking for the most challenging body slides?  Then head straight on to Humunga Kowabunga. This is for those less fearless amongst us who want to plunge 50 feet at 30mph. Or perhaps you will chose one of the 3 Storm Slides – not as intense but certainly worth a go, or two, or three………

Get ready to board your 2 person raft on the Crush N Gusher. This one is a bit difficult to describe but many call it a water coaster.  You will slip, slide and twist through over 400 feet of water slide.

If you are looking for something much more relaxing then grab and inner tube raft and glide along Castaway Creek. This circular lazy river circles the park and your journey will take around 30 minutes to complete a circuit. Hop on and off at the various points around the park.

Want some tips for visiting Typhoon Lagoon? It is a very popular Disney World park and it does get crowded. Arrive early – about 45 minutes before opening time if you can. Or arrive later in the afternoon. The crowds often begin to thin out mid afternoon.  Bring sun screen with you – this is Florida and the sun can be very strong.  And this is a Disney park where it is completely fine to bring your own food. Just leave the alcohol and glass containers at home, but you are welcome to bring a cooler with as much food as you like.

So should you choose Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach? Both are great Disney water parks but they do offer different things. Blizzard Beach has a bigger selection of water slides. But Typhoon Lagoon has the Surf Pool and the Shark Reef.  Take a look at my Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon Guides to see which your family would enjoy most.  You will find lots of great pictures, tips on the best Disney water park tickets,and how to make the most of your day whichever you choose.

Photo used under Creative Commons Licence PrincessAshley

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Cinderella Castle

January 7th, 2009 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Disney World, Orlando Theme Parks
One of my favorite photos of Cinderella's Castle

One of my favorite photos of Cinderella

If you picture Disney World the chances are that the image that comes into your head will be Cinderella’s Castle – the icon of the Magic Kingdom. This picture of Cinderella’s Castle is so stunning it inspired me to write about the most recognizable landmark in Disney World.

Have you ever wondered what is inside Cinderella’s Castle? Or wanted to learn more about this enchanted Disney Castle?

The inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle were the castles of 17th century France. And this too was the theme for the magical Cinderella Castle Suite. This beautiful 650 square feet Cinderella Suite was created by the Imagineers in 2007 and used as a prize for a small number of lucky families selected randomly in one of the parks as winners of the Year of A Million Dreams.

So what is inside the Cinderella Castle Suite? It is 21st century comfort meets 17th century style.

The bedroom has 2 beautiful Queen sized beds facing an ornate fireplace. Above the fireplace is a portrait of Cinderella – but all is not what it seems. The portrait magically transforms into a flat screen television! The bathroom houses a huge garden tub with ornate stained glass windows. Guests of the Suite are given their own private tour of the Magic Kingdom after closing time and are then escorted to their ‘palace’ by their Cinderella Suite Concierge.

Sadly the only way to see the inside of the Cinderella Suite for yourself is to win the prize. Disney has said that even though the Year of A Million Dreams is now finished they will still be using the Castle Suite as a prize. So keep your fingers crossed and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones!

There is an easier way to see the inside of Cinderella’s Castle though. You can dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table which is housed inside the Castle. Be prepared to make those Advance Dining Reservations well in advance though as this is the most popular Disney World restaurant. You really do have to call 407 WDW DINE 90 days ahead to get a table. The food is family style and breakfast, lunch and dinner is served.

How many bricks were used to build the Magic Kingdom Castle? OK it is a trick question of course because the answer is none. Cindrella’s Castle is built from concrete and fiber glass over a steel structure. Legend had it that it could be taken apart if a hurricane threatened – but this is simply a legend as this is a very solid structure!

If you would like to learn more about this most famous Disney World landmark then take a look at my Guide to Cinderella’s Castle. You will even be able to take a peek inside the Cinderella Castle Suite!

Photos used under Creative Commons from expressmonorail

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Disney World Dining Plan

January 4th, 2009 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Disney World, Uncategorized
Is the Disney World Dining Plan the right option for you?

Is the Disney World Dining Plan the right option for you?

Is the Disney Dining Plan worth the money? When you book a Disney Magic Your Way Package you have the option of adding on a Disney Dining Plan option. This can be a great saving for your family – but to decide whether it is the right option for you then you need to know more about it.
So how does it work? As a Disney hotel guest you can just book your room and nothing else. Or you can book a Magic Your Way Package which will include your tickets for the duration of your stay, and you can add dining plans and recreation.

There are now 3 types of Disney Dining Plan. The Quick Service Dining Plan, The Dining Plan and the Deluxe Dining Plan.

The Quick Service Disney Dining Plan is $29.99 for adults and $8.99 for children aged 3 to 9 per person per day. This new Plan for 2009 will give you credits for 2 Quick Service Meals, 2 snacks per day and a resort refillable mug. To be honest I am not sure how popular this plan will be as it does not offer as much value as the other Plans.

The Dining Plan includes 1 table service meal, 1 counter service and 1 snack per person per day. Each guest will also have a refillable mug which can be used for fountain service drinks at your resort hotel.

The cost of this option per person per day is $39.99 for adults and $10.99 for children aged 3 to 9.

Want all your eating options covered? Then choose The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan which includes 3 meals,2 snacks and a resort refillable mug. The meals can be either full service or counter service meals. On this plan you are pretty certain you are never going to be hungry! The cost of the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan? $69.99 for adults and $19.99 for children aged 3 to 9.

Remember that for all table service dining at Disney World it is advisable to make Advance Dining Reservations as far ahead as possible. You can do this by calling 407 WDW DINE up to 90 days in advance for all guests and 100 days in advance if you have a Disney resort hotel reservation. Do you really need to do this? Yes, I know some of you don’t want to think about making decisions and planning that far in advance but if you want your first choice then I really would suggest calling ahead to make those ADR’s as soon as you can. Partly due to the success of the Disney Dining Plan it seems to be getting more and more difficult to find a ‘walk in’ for a Disney restaurant. In particular if you want to dine at the extremely popular Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier at Epcot and Akershus Princess Storybook Dining then you must call ahead.

What if you haven’t made an Advance Dining Reservation? As soon as you arrive at the park go to Guest Services to see what they have available – and be prepared to be flexible. I am not saying that walk ins aren’t available – they are – I just want you to know that they can be difficult to find!

If you want to know lots more then I have written a complete Guide to the Disney Dining Plan.

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