Sep 212016

Our family loves Christmas ornaments which can be expensive. We have found that key chains and bookmarks can be a less costly alternative. If you don’t want to hang them on the tree with the key ring you can always remove it with needle nose wire pliers and hang with ribbon. (Submitted by Rhonda)

Best of Be Our Guest Podcast

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Each issue we will feature a snippet of what you could learn by listening to the Be Our Guest Podcast. Be sure to check back each issue for more fun.

Episode 1068 – Would You Rather?

Mike, Rikki, and Pam are back and ready to have some fun before the weekend!  We are playing, “Would You Rather?”  Trader Sam’s or Nomad Lounge?  Disney Magic or Disney Dream?  7 Nights with no WDW Parks or 4 Days with the Parks?  Hear these propositions and more.

The Be Our Guest Podcast is hosted by Disney lover Mike and co-hosted by fellow Disney aficionados Pam and Rikki. The show covers everything from listener experiences to questions about how to make the most of your dream trip to the world! We hope you will join us each week as we share our love of all things Disney and hope you will share yours as well.

The BOGP family has members from all over the world and we hope you will join us!

Listen to us every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Be Our Guest Podcast!

Nov 042015

By: Jennifer Retzlaff

We are headed to Walt Disney World this summer for our daughter’s 9th birthday, my dad’s birthday and my sister’s graduation.   Our kids already know we are going, so we aren’t doing a big Disney reveal; however, I am going to use Christmas to make the trip seem more real.  These are some ideas I thought many of you could use for your upcoming trips or just as ways to bring Disney into your home while you wait for the next trip.

Magical Speaking November PJS

  1.  Pjs

The first item my kids get every year no matter if there is a trip planned or not is new Disney pajamas.  We absolutely love the coziness of these pjs as well as the magic they bring to the house.  There are so many to choose from that each year is a surprise as you can do character pjs as well as the family matching pjs (which I personally like as mom gets some new Disney magic as well).  I have ordered these from the Disney store and been extremely pleased; however, many retail stores such as Target, Kohl’s and Walmart carry them as well.  These make those Disney movie afternoons all curled up on the couch that much better!

  1.  Disney Movie

The Disney company is a smart one and there always seems to be a new movie released on DVD or an old classic being released right at Christmas time.  We love getting our kids this particular movie as it provides us even more together time as we get our new pjs on, cuddle up on the couch and pop in the movie.  It is a great end to the holiday season.

Magical Speaking November Puzzles

  1.  Puzzles

Another item we love to give our kids is Disney puzzles.  There are always great puzzles out there that will provide great family fun after all the presents are open and we are back home.  We can choose from easy ones that the kids can quickly do on their own or go harder such as the Thomas Kinkade if we want more of a challenge and a puzzle that we can do overtime.

Magical Speaking November Game

  1.  Games

Playing games over the holidays is a must, so having a new Disney game to try out is always an adventure.  When the kids were little, we would choose a new traditional game with a Disney twist such as Yahtzee, Candyland or Memory.  Now that they are older, we have Beat the Parents, Eye Spy as well as Apples to Apples.  These are all fun, entertaining games that provide some Disney magic as well.

  1.  Clothing

Every kid seems to need new clothes as they are constantly growing.  We use Christmas as a time to get new socks, underwear, shirts and sweatshirts.  As our kids usually need new items right around the holidays, we use this time to update their wardrobe with some Disney magic.  From princess socks to Star Wars underwear the kids love to get new items that have a Disney twist to them.

The first five are items we do most Christmases even if we aren’t going to Disney.   This year, as we are heading back in June, we will do a few more Disney items to help make the trip seem more real.

  1. Travel book

I personally love the Birnbaum’s book for kids.  I remember my first trip to Disney and how I received this book.  With the great pictures and easy explanations I find it a must to buy for kids.  We will get our kids this book to help start our planning.

  1.  Calendar

A calendar is a great way for kids to keep track and add important family dates as well as see when the trip is coming.  I love watching them cross off the days as we get closer and excitement builds.

  1.  MagicBands

This is a new one for us.  We haven’t been down with our kids since they have switch to MagicBands so we haven’t exactly decided what we want to do to spice up their MagicBands.  We could buy the specialized bands or buy the MagicBands “MagicBandits” to add some magic.

  1.  Countdown Craft

Our daughter loves crafts so one of her presents will be a countdown craft that she can make on her own and then use to countdown our trip.  There are so many ideas on Pinterest it is just narrowing down what I like and what she can do on her own. (Or consider this great countdown craft from The Mouse For Less.)

  1.  Other Ideas

Our trip will still be over 100 days when Christmas comes around, but for those of you that are heading down earlier, here are some other ideas that we plan to do closer to our trip that you might find fun.

Magical Speaking November Bags

New backpack: kids love having their own carry-on backpack

Goodies for the backpack:  hit up the dollar store and dollar bins and grab those crafts, toys and snacks to fill those backpacks and keep them entertained.

Magical Speaking November Blankets

Stuffed animals/blankets:  our kids loved having a new blanket and stuffed animal to take on our trip with us.  Disney always has plush on sale throughout the year which is a great time to grab them.

These are just some ways to bring some Disney magic to your house over the holidays whether you are headed to Disney or not.  Happy holidays and happy planning.

Feb 112015


We’re looking for your best tips to share with us all about touring the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival! In addition, if you’ve been to Disney California Adventure and visited Hollywood Land for Frozen Fun, we’d love to have your best tips too!

I recommend for all little girls (and also the big girls too) to purchase glow-in-the-dark fingernail polish before a Disney trip.  It’s great for the dark rides!  The problem is that it can be a bit challenging to find when it isn’t October, so order you may need to order it online or stock up during Halloween season! (Submitted by ssdavis)

Best of Be Our Guest Podcast


Each issue we will feature a snippet of what you could learn by listening to the Be Our Guest Podcast. Be sure to check back each issue for more fun.

From Episode 817 – Christmas on the Disney Fantasy

Listener Ed shares his family’s experience traveling on the Disney Fantasy at Christmas! He shares that if you’ll be sailing on Christmas, you’ll see a lot of people wearing their Christmas pajamas wondering the decks on Christmas Eve! So if you will be cruising then, don’t forget to bring those awesome PJs!

To hear more about Ed’s wonderful Christmas cruise, listen to this episode!

Listen to the podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Be Our Guest Podcast!

Dec 172014

When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! – Jiminy Cricket

Q.  We want to have professional photos done for Christmas Cards. Is there anywhere to do this at Walt Disney World?

A. So, there are a couple of options that I think would work best for you. The first is to purchase Memory Maker and get fun photos taken in the park. Then when you get home, you can use the photos to make your own cards using those photos.

The other option is to utilize Disney’s photography service called Disney’s Fine Arts Photography. Here you can get a professional photography session taken at select resorts. There are a few different options of sessions you can choose from, but it’s a great way to get some more unique and off the beaten path photographs.

Whatever you decide, you’re going to have some fun and gorgeous Christmas cards!

Have a great trip!

Nov 152012

By Rikki Niblett



For many, the Holiday season is their favorite time of year at Walt Disney World and I can most definitely see why.  Nothing gets me in the spirit quicker than seeing all the fun festivities the Mouse House has up their sleeves for park guests to enjoy.

Our first stop is over at the Magic Kingdom.  Here, we have Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a special hard ticketed event that happens on select nights.  The two major draws for this Party are the Christmas parade that is shown each night and the firework extravaganza that takes place.

First off, the parade, called Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.  The parade takes place at 8:15 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.  Keep in mind, the second parade is often less crowded than the first. The other really big thing that happens each night is the fireworks show Holiday Wishes–Celebrate the Spirit of the Season.  This show is narrated by Jimminy Cricket and it’s really quite beautiful but it’s also got just the right amount of whimsy mixed in too.  The fireworks spectacular starts at 9:30 p.m.  Also at the parties, a few more festivities occur, such as the distribution of Holiday Treats (cookies and hot chocolate) and a few dance parties.  Oh and of course, most of the rides are open too!

Of course, the thing that I love the most that Disney does around the Holidays at the Magic Kingdom is the Castle Dream Lights and the only word I can use to describe them is breathtaking.  Photos honestly cannot do this justice.  It really has to be seen in person to understand.  There is also a special Castle Lighting ceremony which takes place nightly where Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother works her magic to get those lights to sparkle! The show takes place nightly at 6:45 pm.

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Oct 172012

When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! – Jiminy Cricket


Q. We’re in the middle of our planning for our every-two-years Christmas vacation at Disney World soon, and I was wondering what the schedule for December is yet?  What we want to know about specifically are the dates for special outside-the-parks events, such as the Pop Warner competitions and taping for the televised Christmas parades.  Can you help us?  Thanks, and love your column! (Submitted by Joyce D.)

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