Nov 122014
 

By Rikki Niblett

Top 10 Best Things About Cruising with Disney Cruise Line

I’ve been in your shoes before. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about potentially taking a Disney Cruise Line vacation, but you just don’t know. You’ve mastered a Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation, but would you really enjoy a Disney Cruise Line one?

I can answer this question with a resounding YES! Without a doubt, a Disney Cruise Line vacation is one of the best vacations around. But why? What makes cruising a great option? Well for that answer, I have 10 reasons…my top 10 Best Things About Cruising with Disney Cruise Line!

 

Disney Cruise Line Stateroom

  • Staterooms: Not only are the staterooms larger than most other cruise lines, but they come with some unique features too. For many rooms, the bathroom is a split bath; a shower and sink in one part and a sink and toilet in another. Another neat perk is lots of storage space to hide luggage (like under the bed) and for those who don’t have a view of the ocean, on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy they offer the virtual portholes, where you can see exactly what is going on outside, but courtesy of video screens! (Be on the lookout for Disney characters which may pop up!)

Disney Cruise Line Wait Staff

  • Rotational Dining: One of the things that is unique to Disney Cruise Line is rotational dining. Here guests rotate to the three different restaurants each night, but their dining staff rotates with you! This comes in handy because your staff knows what drinks you like, what items to recommend, and more. Honestly, the dining staff become like family to you too. You bond with them, chat with them, and yes, even take photos with them at the end of your cruise…like we always do.

Disney Cruise Line Pools

  • The AquaDuck/AquaDunk: These two water slides are one of a kind options only available on Disney Cruise Line ships! (The AquaDuck is on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy and the AquaDunk is on the Disney Magic.) If you are a water slide fan at all, you’ll want to experience these for yourself. If you’re not a water slide fan, there’s lots of areas to swim and play. There’s the Aqualab, the Nemo Reef section, and of course the Mickey Pool! Swimming in some form is a guaranteed must while cruising and what better way to do it than on these fantastic ships?

Oceaneer Lab

  • Oceaneer’s Club, Oceaneer’s Lab, Vibe, Edge, and every other kid’s section: Holy cow! What can I say? These kids sections are fantastic! There is just so much to do that oftentimes kids don’t want to leave. (Heck, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t want to leave…too bad I’m a grown up.) It’s playtime, all the time and it’s oh so fun! (And during the open house portion of these areas on the first day on the ship, I may have had some fun playing too!)

Palo Brunch

  • Palo Brunch: Want to know the ultimate in meals (at least according to me.) It’s Palo’s Brunch. Only offered on at sea days and for an extra cost, the brunch is a must do, can’t miss, if you can. There are so many different options to choose from. You have great breakfast options like fruit, yogurt, salmon, danishes, and more. Then for lunch choices you have different salads, shrimp, ahi tuna, etc. Then on top of that you can choose to order flatbreads. Oh then you can choose to order an actual brunch meal, such as pancakes, omelets, or even chicken parmesan. Finally it’s the dessert course. If you don’t roll out of here stuffed to the gills, you did something wrong.

Pirates in the Caribbean Night

  • Pirates in the Caribbean Night: Did you know that special to Disney Cruise Line is the Pirates in the Caribbean party? It starts with the guests who are encouraged to dress the part. Then guests get to partake in a special dinner menu. Guests are to head out to the deck where the Pirates in the Caribbean party is taking place. There’s a special version of the show for kids and then a version that’s a little scarier (I mean…as scary as you can get for Disney) later in the evening. Of course you will not want to miss out on the fantastic fireworks extravaganza. (Did you know that DCL is the only cruise line that offers fireworks.) Oh and then to top it all off, most of the time there is a wonderful midnight buffet, which features delicious dishes, along with turkey legs! It’s a arrgh-tastic!

Senses Spa

  • Senses Spa: Are you looking for a little luxury during your vacation? Look no further than Senses. Here you can have all the pampering you want done (of course for a price.) You can get manicures, facials, and even massages. Of course, my favorite section is the Rainforest Room, where guests can sit on heated loungers, enjoy “private” hot tubs, take a steam, or rinse off with the famous rainforest shower heads. (Do keep in mind that you can purchase a Rainforest Room pass, but they are only available on a first come, first served bases starting as soon as you board the ship.)

Disney Cruise Line Tiny Touches

  • Disney touches everywhere: While Disney Cruise Line is of course a Disney ship, the Disney touches aren’t so in your face. There are little things everywhere…some more open than others. You can see the touches in the stairwells, you can seem them in the artwork, heck, you can even see them in the elevator (look at the arm telling you what floor you are on.) Though there are times when you forget you are on a Disney ship, the details are so wonderfully hidden; like a giant Disney Easter egg hunt! It’s so elegant and regal. The whole ship! Of course, there are more overt touches too…like the Mickey Pool or Mike Wazowski’s Eye Scream Ice Cream. But you want to know one of the coolest Disney touches? You can be walking down the stairs and literally run into a Disney Princess. Yep…it’s happened.
  • Broadway Caliber Shows/Other Entertainment: Can I just say that the entertainment and the staff here on DCL is redonkulous! Oh my gosh! They are just so, so great. (Actually all the Cast Members are top notch. Really, you won’t find one who doesn’t work super hard to make your vacation fantastic.) But as far as entertainment Cast Members, they get the party pumping from the moment you step on the ship until you dock back home. The Broadway caliber shows are just incredible too. They are so special and most tug at the heart strings. Do not miss these! You also have the option of playing game shows, they keep the clubs thumping, and they have lots of activities going on the pool deck. There’s really just a ton to do. Don’t worry about being bored on a Disney Cruise Line vacation…it’s really the opposite…you’ll have too much that you want to do and not enough time to do it in!

Castaway Cay

  • Castaway Cay: How can you not talk about Disney Cruise Line and not mention Castaway Cay. For many, many sailings, stopping here is a requirement. It’s like an extension of the ship. It is the epitome of a tropical island. There’s so much to do too! If you want to go parasailing, you can. Want to feed a sting ray, you can. Want to go on a bike ride, yep. Want to run a 5k, that’s a yes. Want to play in the ocean…yes sir! Or if you just want to rest on a lounge chair and read a good book, you can do that too. Castaway Cay is the ultimate paradise and a major reason why many choose to cruise with Disney Cruise Line.  (And the ultimate is the Castaway Cay double dip, which I get to participate in next time. It’s where you visit Castaway Cay twice during your cruise!)

As you can see, a Disney Cruise Line vacation is a ton of fun! Honestly, this vacation is one of the best ones we’ve taken. I’m more of a go-go-go Walt Disney World vacation taker…my hubby prefers to relax…but on a Disney Cruise Line trip, we are always able to meet right in the middle. Preferably on Deck 4…but that’s another great hidden gem that I want to keep to myself. (Oops…I think I gave it away.  Darn!  Well, it’s between me and you, right?)

Oct 292014
 

MMMonsters Inc

 

 

My daughters met up with their cousins at Magic Kingdom and got to have a few laughs at Monsters Inc Laugh Floor.  It looks like they’ve become a new set of “Monsters of Comedy”. (l-r, Alexandra, Vicki, Briana and Samantha) (Submitted by Matthew D.)

In each issue we feature a magical memory submitted by one of our readers. We look forward to sharing your memories in upcoming issues! To submit your memory, email a photo with a short description to info@magically-speaking.com.

Oct 292014
 

Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments

Magic Kingdom

  • The Yankee Trader in Liberty Square has reopened into a Haunted Mansion gift shop called Memento Mori.
  • New - Island Supply in Adventureland closed permanently on October 23 to make way for a new retail store.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad is closed through November 8.
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin will be closed for refurbishment from November 10 through to November 21
  • The Haunted Mansion will be closed for refurbishment from December 1 through December 19.
  • Splash Mountain will be closed for refurbishment from January 4 through January 30, 2015
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table will be closed for refurbishment from January 5 – March 6, 2015.
  • New – Liberty Square Riverboat will close for refurbishment from January 23 through January 27, 2015.
  • New – Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid will close for refurbishment from February 2 through March 6, 2015.
  • Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street U.S.A. will be closed for a refurbishment February 2 through March 30, 2015.
  • Cinderella Castle moat has been drained. This work is being done as part of a larger project that will create a second ring around the current hub that adds more walkways and dedicated viewing areas for Magic Kingdom fireworks and parades, as well as sculpted gardens. This multi-phase enhancement project will be completed in 2015.

Epcot

  • Maelstrom and the Spirit of Norway movie have closed. In their place, a new “Frozen” themed attraction will be built that is expect to open in early 2016. The new attraction will take guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location with Anna and Elsa.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Studio Backlot Tour closed permanently on September 27.   A portion of the Studio Backlot Tour is being used to for the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. Disney is also working other developments for that area and will share details soon.
  • New – The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will close permanently at day’s end on November 6, joining several other closures this year including American Idol Experience in August and the Studio Backlot Tour in September.
  • New - The Sorcerer’s Hat, at the center of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is slated for removal in early 2015
  • Fantasmic! will be closed for refurbishment from November 19 through November 21

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch will be closed through to November 10. The other areas of Conservation Station will continue to operate as normal.
  • Pangani Research Center will have the Aviary and Hippo viewing areas closed through November 14.
  • Kali River Rapids will close for refurbishment from January 20 through February 4, 2015.
  • Disney Parks has announced a long-term relationship with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at Animal Kingdom Park. The new Avatar-inspired Land will feature multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements. In preparation for the new land, Camp Minnie-Mickey has closed permanently.  Construction on Avatarland is expected to wrap up around 2017.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon will be closed for refurbishment through December 20.
  • Blizzard Beach will be closed for annual refurbishment from January 4 through March 14.

 

Downtown Disney (WDW)

  • Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive will take place through March 2016. Due to heavy roadwork, expect delays on Buena Vista Drive. It is recommended that Guests use complimentary Walt Disney World Resort transportation from Parks and Resorts to Downtown Disney and plan to arrive early for reserved dining and entertainment experiences.
  • Downtown Disney will undergo a multi-year transformation into Disney Springs. New and completed areas will open in phases, and the project is expected to be complete in 2016. 

 

Disneyland Resort Closures and Rehabs

Disneyland

  • Mark Twain Riverboat will be closed through November 28
  • Space Mountain will be closed on November 3
  • it’s a small world will be closed through November 6.
  • Plaza Inn will be closed through November 6.
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey will be closed from November 12 through November 13.
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventure will be closed from November 12 through November 13
  • New – Casey Jr. Circus Train will be closed from December 1 through December 19, 2014.
  • New – Storybook Land Canal Boats will be closed from December 1 through December 19, 2014.

 

Disney’s California Adventure Closures and Refurbishments

  • Boudin Bakery will be closed through January 16.
  • Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm will be closed from November 1 through November 6.

Outside the Theme Parks

  Continue reading »

Oct 292014
 

In each issue we share tips from our readers. If you have a tip to share send it to us at info@magically-speaking.com.

Fall is here! Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World offer lots of great festivities. If you have a tip about touring the parks in the Fall, make sure to share them with us at info@magically-speaking.com!

 

During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, you can find merchandise that celebrates the event. While you’re in the park, visit the Festival Welcome Center, which offers commemorative gifts, specialty kitchen items, a book shop and a wine bar. You’ll also find the official Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Poster.

 

Best of Be Our Guest Podcast

BOGPLogoEach 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 771 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

On this episode, we take a detailed look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We discuss the theme, room types, the restaurants, recreation and of course, the animals. The hotel offers some incredible aspects that guests should make sure to take advantage of when staying here. (Or even if you’re just visiting.)

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

Oct 152014
 

olaf

My daughter Mikayla during our trip this past May. She loves Frozen and we were so excited when the Disney photographer offered to add something fun for her in the picture!  She was standing on the bridge heading into France in Epcot! (Submitted by Amanda B.)

In each issue we feature a magical memory submitted by one of our readers. We look forward to sharing your memories in upcoming issues! To submit your memory, email a photo with a short description to info@magically-speaking.com.

Oct 152014
 

Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments

Magic Kingdom

  • Updated – The Yankee Trader in Liberty Square has reopened into a Haunted Mansion gift shop called Memento Mori.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad is closed through November 8. Email notification is being sent to guests who had booked the ‘Disney’s Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour.
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin will be closed for refurbishment from November 10 through to November 21
  • The Haunted Mansion will be closed for refurbishment from December 1 through December 19.
  • Splash Mountain will be closed for refurbishment from January 4 through January 30, 2015
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table will be closed for refurbishment from January 5 – March 6, 2015.
  • Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street U.S.A. will be closed for a refurbishment February 2 through March 30, 2015.
  • Cinderella Castle moat has been drained. This work is being done as part of a larger project that will create a second ring around the current hub that adds more walkways and dedicated viewing areas for Magic Kingdom fireworks and parades, as well as sculpted gardens. This multi-phase enhancement project will be completed in 2015.

Epcot

  • Updated – Maelstrom and the Spirit of Norway movie have closed. In their place, a new “Frozen” themed attraction will be built that is expect to open in early 2016. The new attraction will take guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location with Anna and Elsa.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Studio Backlot Tour closed permanently on September 27.   A portion of the Studio Backlot Tour is being used to for the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. Disney is also working other developments for that area and will share details soon.
  • Fantasmic! will be closed for refurbishment from November 19 through November 21

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • New – Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch will be closed through to November 10. The other areas of Conservation Station will continue to operate as normal.
  • Pangani Research Center will have the Aviary and Hippo viewing areas closed through November 14.
  • Kali River Rapids will close for refurbishment from January 20 through February 4, 2015.
  • Disney Parks has announced a long-term relationship with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at Animal Kingdom Park. The new Avatar-inspired Land will feature multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements. In preparation for the new land, Camp Minnie-Mickey has closed permanently.  Construction on Avatarland is expected to wrap up around 2017.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon will be closed for refurbishment from October 26 through December 20.
  • Blizzard Beach will be closed for annual refurbishment from January 4 through March 14.

 

Downtown Disney (WDW)

  • Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive will take place through March 2016. Due to heavy roadwork, expect delays on Buena Vista Drive. It is recommended that Guests use complimentary Walt Disney World Resort transportation from Parks and Resorts to Downtown Disney and plan to arrive early for reserved dining and entertainment experiences.
  • Downtown Disney will undergo a multi-year transformation into Disney Springs. New and completed areas will open in phases, and the project is expected to be complete in 2016. 

 

Disneyland Resort Closures and Rehabs

Disneyland

  • Mark Twain Riverboat will be closed through November 28
  • New – it’s a small world will be closed from October 20 through November 6.
  • New – Plaza Inn will be closed from October 27 through November 6.
  • New - Pinocchio’s Daring Journey will be closed from November 12 through November 13.
  • New - Snow White’s Scary Adventure will be closed from November 12 through November 13

 

Disney’s California Adventure Closures and Refurbishments

  • New – Boudin Bakery will be closed from October 21 through January 16.
  • New – Turtle Talk with Crush will be closed from October 28 through October 29.
  • New – Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm will be closed from November 1 through November 6.
  • New – Space Mountain will be closed on November 3,

Outside the Theme Parks

  Continue reading »