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Disney Bound!!

2 Oct

Last year when I ran #alltheraces that runDisney could throw at me, I spent a LOT of time in both Florida and California! So, it’s a little surprising to me that when I head down to Orlando this morning it will be only my second trip all year! And, for the first time EVER – Phred gets to come with me since we’re staying with friends and not a Disney Resort. (seriously Disney, join the pet-friendly generation!)

Note for those who like to bring their 4-legged kids along on planes — If you book a Southwest flight but you end up flight sharing with AirTran, you cannot make advance reservations for your pet! Which can cause much stress no matter how many times you call both AirTran and Southwest…I’m not highly trusting of the “just show up at the airport with your pet” method of planning!!

One day I will learn to plan and pack ahead, where “ahead” is not as I should be going to bed the night before travelling. Or the morning I leaave! Postponing packing leads to overpacking that’s for sure. And forgetting things. And stressing about that little bag of Disney gift cards that you KNOW is in the office but the office hasn’t been cleared up in a while and vowing that I WILL find it before I go down for Wine and Dine!!!

On this trip, I’m not participating in any races (I am volunteering instead!), though should get in at least 2 runs since I have not been so good on the training front this week… so no costumes being packed – just Ears!! Plus some of Phred’s things! A

nd I’m using my brand new suitcase!! It’s tiny on the outside but holding a lot of stuff now!!

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I might even bring that neck pillow I won also! Give it a test run 😉

But first I’ll log in at work and make sure I’ve sent out everything I need to send out, and set up my “Out of Office” email message!!

 

Here We Go! Princess Half Weekend Part 1

7 Mar

So, if you read running blogs, or you read Disney blogs you know that the Princess Marathon weekend happened a couple weeks ago! And, if you read *this* blog, you know that I have not yet told you of my amazing weekend!

Now, I’m tellin’!!

I made my reservations long ago, back when there were “meetups” sponsored by runDisney. So I was coming in a day early. Just in Case. The day before I was to leave, we got some “snow”….not as bad as expected, but I still had a driveway full of ice that I was HOPING someone would take care of for me! And luckily someone did while I was taking the dog to his babysitter!

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Thank goodness for 4WD!

Woke up early Wednesday morning to …well, pack and head to the airport! Weather cooperated thank goodness!

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View from my airplane window…Sunny Florida here I come!!

After so long away, I was so happy to get to Orlando! With my MagicBand I breezed through the Magical Express (even after going down the WRONG stairs and having to walk REALLY FAR to the desk and being confused!). Got right on my bus and was on my way to Pop Century!!

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Front desk of Pop Century resort — not time to hustle yet!

My plan was to hang at the pool for the afternoon and I had made dinner reservations at the Wilderness Lodge. All worked out as planned. I spent a couple of hours out by the pool where  I met a great mom and daughter pair who were doing the half together – of course it made me miss my mom. We had a great chat and I ended up seeing them a couple more times during the weekend!

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View from my chair at the Hippy Dippy Pool…

I love the Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge but have never eaten there by myself. Turns out that’s not so bad at all! A single person can get the “all you can eat” plate with all the meat and sides and whatnot!

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Lots of protein on the plate! Plus mashed potatoes!!

Yay!!! I enjoyed the tasty BBQ and watching the families and kids having fun! Even caught a glimpse of one of the chefs coming out to do the Disney thing where they make sure people with allergies are accommodated!

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Chef comes out to take care of special dietary needs – the Disney standard!

Since it was a late reservation, I had planned to just head back to the room and hit the hay — I had expo-mania to deal with on Thursday and there was always a chance that it would not be pretty!!

Up next — The Expo, a MeetUp and some Disney Magic!

FastPass+ and the Magic Band!

18 Feb

On my last couple of trips to Walt Disney World I’ve used the new Magic Band —

A couple of months before your trip starts, you have the opportunity to “customize” your band — that is, you get to choose the color and you can have a name inscribed on the inside.  My first time I chose Blue

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You always remember your first one.

On my next trip, I was with a larger group and I didn’t make the reservations and we got the generic grey bands when we checked in to the resort.

Now that I’m heading to Princess Weekend, I decided to get all kinds of girly and got my pink Magic Band!!

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Time to get my Princess on!!

It’s always fun to get mail and this is no exception!

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What a GREAT package!!!

Now, while not actual “Magic”, the band does do some magical things! It opens doors – specifically, your resort room door! It buys you things. Well, it let you buy you things without fumbling around with credit cards or cash (though, if you’re an Annual Passholder or a Disney Visa Card holder, you may have to show those cards for any savings). It holds pictures for you — the Disney Photopass photographers simply have to scan your band and you can look your pictures up online, almost immediately!

And, it holds your FastPass+ reservations

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A Day in the Life…

You can see it also keeps track of your Dining Reservations (see Making ADRs )

But. FastPass+ — what is it and why do we care? Once upon a time, long ago, when you wanted to go on a ride at Walt Disney World, you had to wait in line. Sometimes, that line could be HOURS long! Then the Disney folks introduced FastPass. With your park ticket you could go to a machine and get a ‘reservation’ to get in line for a ride. This line tended to be a bit shorter than the normal line and you may have gotten a little smug feeling as you sped past everyone waiting in the serpentines…This was a great process – one person in your group could grab all the tickets and race to the machine to make sure you were all able to get FastPass at the same time frame.

Then, last year, they started introducing FastPass+ as part of the whole new MyMagic+ (Magic Bands+MyDisneyExperience+FastPass+). Now you can secure your place in line before you even leave home! BUT…you can only get 3 a day in one park. There are also “tiers” of attractions – so, for example, I cannot get FastPass+ for Tower of Terror AND RockandRoller Coaster. So, more decisions!!! Some people are not thrilled with the new system which I can understand.  As someone who does a lot of “single” traveling to Walt Disney World, I often use the “single rider” lines (and don’t get me started on the abuse of THIS system!!) so I end up spending less time in lines, generally but it’s nice to have the FastPass backup. Especially if there are attractions or rides that you MUST go on!!

I kind of like the MagicBand system in general. I haven’t had issues that some folks have had and it really does make life easier. For me.

Now, if only I could get it to do my packing 🙂

THIS Is HOW The Magic Happens!!

24 Sep

Oh yeah it IS Magic!!

Came home from work tonight (with a small stop in a local cemetery…) and found this on my front steps

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Oh my! Who doesn’t like to come home to a surprise package of some kind. Almost any kind!

Open the big brown box!

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YAY!!!!!

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On my upcoming visit to Walt Disney World I am testing out the new Magic Bands – when you get one of these you can customize it before you go – then you “tie” it to all of your reservations and tickets (I’ve got my room, my pass and my ticket to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on mine!). They’ll even put your name on it.

One of my friends inside of my computer just got back from a conference at WDW and got to try the Magicband – she wrote a blog post about it. Since things are still in the testing phase, there are some questions that aren’t yet answered or set in stone! She likes it – I hope I do. If you want to know more, head over and read her review here! You can also get answers to some of your questions!!

http://throughheatherslookingglass.com/disney-magicbands-review/

Me? I can’t wait to try it out!!

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