Which theme parks ticket(s) to buy ?!

So, you have decided to go to Disneyworld, Florida…now which park ticket do you buy? Are you just doing Disney, or do you plan on going to Universal (I would!!), Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Legoland??? The choices are endless 😊.

Living in the UK, I think this is slightly easier than if you are in the US, for Disney, at least.

Here in the UK, we have a fantastic Disney ticket option, known as an ‘Ultimate’, it is available for 7, 14 and 21 days. If you live in the states, you may think, wow! The thing is, when we come to America for our vacation (holidays) we tend to visit for at least 7 days, if not 14. We are lucky enough to have approx. 4 weeks of vacation time off work every year.

The Ultimate ticket gives you unlimited access to all four theme parks (this includes park hopper), so you can go to as many parks in one day as you like 😀, I like to aim to visit all four parks in one day, at least, on each vacation! You also have access to: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, Disney’s Quest, Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. These tickets are valid for 7, 14 or 21 days from their first use.

Of course, you also benefit from Fastpass+, so you can log into your MyDisney Experience account and make your Fastpass and dining reservations before you even leave for you vacation, currently if you buy one of these tickets you also receive Memory maker FREE!! Have a look at my post for a bit more information.

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Source: virginholidays.co.uk

If you want to visit the other theme parks in Orlando, you can buy the Orlando FlexTicket, this offers you unlimited access to 5 or 6 theme parks!

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Source: virginholidays.co.uk

Something to consider, if you are planning in going to Discovery Cove, you also receive access to SeaWorld and Aquatica as part of you ticket:

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Source: virginholidays.co.uk

Another offering for us here in the UK, Virgin Holidays offers some ticket bundles of their own, you do have to book you whole holiday package with them to be able to take advantage of these.

Magic Me

This includes:
Disney’s 7-Day Ultimate Ticket
Universal Orlando® 2-Park Bonus Ticket
2-Park SeaWorld & Aquatica Ticket

Splash Me

This includes:
Disney’s 14-Day Ultimate Ticket
Universal 3-Park Bonus Ticket
Discovery Cove Ultimate Ticket

Amaze Me

This includes:
Disney’s 14-Day Ultimate Ticket
Orlando FlexTicket Plus
FREE Admission to Virgin Holidays v-room

V-room is an exclusive airport lounge, available at Manchester and Gatwick airports, for customers who have booked a package through virginholidays.co.uk, check out my review.

A relatively new area is I-Drive 360, located on International Drive, there are currently 3main atttractions: Madame Tussauds Orlando, Orlando Eye and SEALIFE Orlando Aquarium

Hope this helps and good luck!

Emma x

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Another Disney to do list!


Before we last visited Disney World I wrote a to-do list, well we’re off again this weekend (how lucky am I 😍) , there are some things I really want to do which I have not done for a long time or at all.

  1. Watch Wishes & the evening Parade at Magic Kingdom
  2. Character dining at Chef Mickey’s
  3. Watch illuminations at EPCOT
  4. Visit Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends
  5. Visit all four parks in one day
  6. Watch Fantasmic

I would love to hear about your to-do/bucket lists for Disney World

Emma x

My Disney Experience & Fastpass+

When we visited Disney in January it was our first trip where the new My Disney Experience and Fastpass+ system was in place (it had been 2 years since out last trip!)

Before our trip I wasn’t sure if I was going to like FP+ as it requires planning…which to be fair I do lots of, but sometimes we just want to be spontaneous too.

As we were there for 2 weeks I purchased a 14 day ultimate ticket (We live in the UK), this is a great ticket as it gives 14 days (from first day of use) access to all four parks (including park hopping), 2 water parks, Disney Quest and a round of mini golf a day.

Firstly, I linked my ticket to my Disney account, I did have some issues with this as I was trying to link it from within the app on my phone…after a post on the Disboards I discovered that you needed to do this via the website…sure enough it worked straight away and was a pretty easy task. I also linked my DH’s ticket to my account so I was able to book Fastpasses for us both at the same time.

The website and app are both pretty easy to use, although I do like the way your plans show on the iPad app (it can sometimes be a little slow loading though).

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As we weren’t staying on site for the whole trip we could book our Fastpasses 30 days in advance (If you stay onsite you can book them 60 days in advance), so for 2 weeks each morning I logged onto the My Disney Experience App and booked our Fastpasses.

If you are staying on site and you book far enough in advance you receive Magic Bands in the mail and you can pick the color…otherwise you will just get boring grey ones. However, you can purchase all sorts of different designs in the parks…then have the cast member link up your ticket and you’re good to go. I have a Minnie Mouse one 🙂

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Any dining reservations booked online/through the app will show up in you plan and you can also add other non-Fastpass/entertainment to your plan, so you can add the parades and Character meets. It is a great place to put all your plans throughout the resort.

The app is great for using in the parks, however in January I did experience some connection issues to the Wifi (I seem to recall reading somewhere that this has been updated since our last trip so I will see how it copes this time).

I also had the Memory Maker which works great with your Magic Band, you also get some extras, such as ride videos.

Have you experienced Fastpasses+? What are your thoughts; do you love it or hate it?

Emma x

New stuff for Disney trip!

In preparation for our upcoming trip to Disney World, I have purchased 2 practical items to help.

The first is a mini portable charger for my phone, last time we were away my phone would constantly lose battery by the end of the day, this was due to me taking lots of photos/video and also checking and updating Fastpasses on the MDE app.

I ordered it from Amazon and at the time of purchase it was just £9.99, it came super quick (although we do have Prime so get next day delivery free) and it was nicely packaged.

box

It is very compact and you get a little case to keep it in, I also liked the little booklet on how to contact them that came with it, a nice little touch 🙂

happy-nothappy

The second item is a bum bag/waist pack/”absatch whichever terminology you prefer! Again, I got this off Amazon. It had free delivery but had quite a broad delivery window, after a few days I was a little concerned it might not arrive before we leave, however, it arrived after 1 week of being dispatched…it had in fact come from China so I was very impressed with this. When I go to the parks I also like to get a suntan, but don’t like obvious tan lines!! So I don’t really want to be carrying around a rucksack or something over my shoulders, I picked this one as it has lots of pockets which I am hoping will fit everything I need.

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Image Courtesy of Amazon.co.uk

 

bag

In each of the main pockets it also includes netted pockets too and a little hook which will be handy for smaller items and keys. It has 2 bottle holders, one on each side and it also has a detachable strap so it can be carried over the shoulder.

As I have not yet used these items I cannot say how good (or bad) they are, however, I will do a full review when I get home.

What useful items do you take to the park? How do you pack light?

Emma

Disney Challenge

I am off to Disney in a few weeks (21 days to be precise!!), although I really wish I was there now at the 24-Hour Summer Kick-Off Celebration, I have the Live Stream of Main Street, U.S.A on and it looks a glorious sunny day. To cheer myself up I thought I would do the Disney Challenge that I have seen on a few blogs I follow.

Here are my answers:

1- First time you went to Disney World? September 2003 for 2 weeks, we tried to do absolutely everything!!

2- Favorite park? Magic Kingdom

3- Favorite land in Magic Kingdom? Fantasyland

4- Favorite Disney resort hotel? Grand Floridian

5- Favorite snack? Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow

6- Favorite souvenir? Scrapbook & Scrapbooking Accessories

7- Favorite table service and counter service? Shula’s Steak House at WDW Dolphin, Plaza Ice Cream Parlour

8- Favorite ride? Toy Story Midway Mania

9- Favorite show? Muppet Vision 3D

10- Favorite parade or fireworks? Motor Cars & Stars Parade

11- Favorite pavilion in Epcot? France

12- What color is your magic band? Red with White Polka dots 🙂

13- Favorite character to meet? Eeyore

14- A character you haven’t met but really want to? Gaston

15- Your best Disney memory? Getting Married at the Walt Disney World Swan and later walking through Downtown Disney on our way to Fulton’s Crab House in my wedding dress..I didn’t want to take it off!!

16. People you want to tag. Leave a comment on their page letting them know that you tagged them. Natalie’s Mostly Disney Blog, Second Star to the Right, Unlocking the Magic, Wandering in Disney,  Disney for Five+,  Disney on my Mind

I would love to see your answers, let me know if you do the challenge.

Emma x

cinderellas castle

My Walt Disney World Tips

As anyone that reads my blog knows I am a huge Disney fan, so I thought I would write a post  with some of my tips for planning and enjoying your upcoming trip.

Before your trip

  • Make a plan – I like to use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
  • Check opening times & refurb schedules
  • Download the My Disney experience app
  • Plan your Fastpasses (FP+), this can be done either on the app or the website, you can book FP+ 30 days in advance (unless you are staying on property, when it is 60 days) – I would advise that you book the popular rides (Seven Dwarfs Mine train, Anna & Elsa meet and greet, Soarin’, Toy Story, Everest) early to guarantee good return times
  • If you really want to see specific characters, see if they have FP+ available and build them into your plan
  • Make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) before you go, however don’t plan ADRs for both lunch and dinner – you only need 1 big meal a day
  • Visit the Disboards, there is a wealth of information and knowledge and if you have any questions lots of people who can help.
  • Subscribe to Disunplugged Podcast, available on amongst others itunes, youtube, mixlr
  • Look into purchasing the Memory Maker – for a one off cost you can download all your photos which are taken by the Photographers in Disney, you can even add borders and stickers before downloading them.

Once you arrive

  • Be prepared for storms in summer and cold snaps in winter
  • Do take time out and don’t try to do everything in one go
  • Pick up a map and times guide as you enter the park
  • Play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom  – Become an apprentice sorcerer at the Firehouse on Main Street, or behind the Christmas Shop in Liberty Square. Using Merlin’s mystical map you then complete missions throughout the park. Unlocking portals and challenging Hades and his henchmen using Spell Cards. Each day you visit MK you can get a new pack of cards and each time you defeat Hades Henchmen you can get another pack.
  • Do a shop at Walmart/Publix for breakfasts/snacks/water/sodas…if you have a refrigerator use it
  • Buy a cheap toaster from Walmart so you can have toast/bagels for breakfast, most accommodations have fridges so you can buy butter, jam, peanut butter, milk, OJ

After your trip

  • Make a scrapbook and include momentos from your trip, such as park tickets, room keys, park maps and time guides
  • Start planning your next trip 😀

my favourite useful Resources

Walt Disney World
wdwinfo.com
disunplugged.com
Disboards

Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World
Brits Guide to Orlando
Passporter

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa – My Review

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa is located approx. 3 miles to the gateway to Walt Disney World on Epcot Center Drive. It has condominium-style accommodations with 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments.

Lake Buena Vista has lots of amenities which include spa and fitness centre, shop with Pizza Hut, Outdoor Pirate themed swimming pool and also a quieter pool. There is also Frankie Farrell’s Pub & Grille onsite. There are meeting facilities and a business centre for people staying here on business.

Check-in was fast and efficient.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite in the main building, due to this in order to go up in the lift we had to use our key card each time – this reassured us that no one could just walk in and wander around the floors.

The living room, dining room and Kitchen are all open plan, the private balcony is off the living room via large patio doors. There is a glass topped dining table with seating for 6 people. A breakfast bar leads to the kitchen which has plenty of kitchenware, including a huge fridge/freezer with ice maker for preparing those meals you may have at home.

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Dining area as you enter
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Living Area

The Master Bathroom is huge! With a Super King (Queen in US terms) size bed, spa bath, walk in closet, shower 2 wash basins with under storage and separate toilet.

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Master Bath

There are ceiling fans in all rooms and air conditioning.

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Second bathroom
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Second bedroom

High-speed wireless internet is complimentary, we had no problems with it during the 2 weeks we stayed there.

The decor is looking a little tired, the rooms could do with a rehab to freshen and modernise them.

I would highly recommend Lake Buena Vista, it is a fantastic location for Disney for off-property accommodations and close to Walmart for all your provisions.

Have you ever stayed here, what do you think?

Emma x