By Duffy, with lots of help from Melissa Bejer
Hi there! My name is Duffy the Disney Bear. Do you know my story? It all started when Mickey Mouse was getting ready to set sail on a long sea voyage and Minnie Mouse made him a very special teddy bear (me) to take with him so he would never be lonely. Minnie gave the handmade bear to Mickey in a duffel bag. Mickey loved the bear very much and named him Duffy. Minnie made dozens little plush bears, just like Mickey’s Duffy, so all of Mickey’s friends could have a friend to travel with and never be lonely.
My friends have been known to take me with them whenever they travel, but the most fun I have is going to Walt Disney World. I have so much fun visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth. I thought I would share some of my favorite tips and tricks with you!
My favorite park is the Magic Kingdom! I like to travel by boat to get to the MK. It’s both relaxing and beautiful too.
Once I get inside the park, it’s fun to hop on the train for a morning ride around the park – next stop, Storybook Circus!
A good lunch stop is at Beast’s Castle! Be Our Guest can have a bit of a wait, so try to line up about 30 minutes prior to opening at 11am. If you are really lucky and staying on Disney property, you can even sometimes score a FastPass+ for this restaurant and avoid the long standby line all together! I recommend dining in the Rose Room for lunch, since it is not open at dinnertime.
My Favorite Ride is Soarin’ found in the Land Pavilion at Epcot! I love to feel like I am flying and traveling all over California!
Speaking of Epcot, if you visit between September and November, you can check out the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This year’s event is slated to take place from September 19 – November 10. The festival offers guests the opportunity to purchase and sample so many yummy treats from all over the world!
And don’t forget to ride Spaceship Earth on your way out of the park – it is and always will be the classic Epcot ride. During the ride, they take your photo, which is used during the decent portion of the attraction. Once you get off the ride, you may even see yourself on the big screens! I had so much fun seeing myself up there!
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, if there is one ride you should make sure to get a FastPass+ reservation for, it should be Toy Story Mania. As a toy myself, I can appreciate all the toys throughout the queue! Keep in mind, the standby line is typically very long, so planning ahead is important to make sure you don’t miss out.
My favorite morning ritual is going to the Animal Kingdom for the morning Extra Magic Hour. It is so peaceful walking through the park when it first opens. As the day goes by, and the temperature gets warmer, I think this park seems more crowded than it actually is. It’s nice to go to the morning EMH and have two or three Expedition Everest rides under your belt before the park even opens to the public!
To me, one of the best snacks are the warm cinnamon glazed almonds! So delicious! I got these at the Magic Kingdom in Adventureland, right after I went for a voyage on Pirates of the Caribbean.
One of my favorite random silly moments is coming across Jim, the piano player who can be found outside of Casey’s Corner at the Magic Kingdom. He is very talented, and it’s fun to dance to the old timey music!
I love to spend the holidays in Walt Disney World! Halloween is fun because I can get dressed up and go to the Magic Kingdom to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in my costume. Kids and adults can get dressed up too. Lots of characters are available for pictures in their Halloween costumes, and we can even do some trick or treating!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 will be offered from 7:00 pm to midnight on September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31.
It’s also fun to go to the parks at Christmas time. One year, we wanted to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, but we didn’t buy tickets ahead of time and the party was sold out. Make sure you book your tickets in advance! It’s never too early to start planning! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2014 will be offered from 7:00 pm to midnight on November 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 30 and December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 , 11, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 19.
While we didn’t get to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, it was no bother because we did see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This display is typically offered from Early November thru early January, starting at dusk. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights is included in regular admission to the Studios. The Disney magic can be felt immediately when you witness snow falling in Florida, as soon as you step onto the Streets of America. Amongst the luster of the dancing Christmas lights, there is holiday music choreographed to the lights every 15 minutes. Enjoying the lights can be even more enjoyable if you are wearing a Santa outfit and eating a Mickey pretzel as you partake in the festivities. The pretzels are scrumptious!
After a long day of being in the parks, even though I want to stay up late and keep having fun, I know I have to go to sleep so I can rest up for the next day. The best way for me to fall asleep is by watching the Duffy Bedtime Story Channel on in-room Resort TV. It usually runs every 15 minutes or so, and always helps me to fall asleep. I am getting sleepy just thinking about it! Sweet dreams!