Category Archives: travel

3-Day Disney Dream Cruise

This is an overview of the 3-day cruise on the Disney Dream. I am going to give you a bit of general information about the Dream, then give the 3-night itinerary, and the ports of call. I will also give an overview of the dining and entertainment on board the ship and finish with transportation options to get to the ship.

The Disney Dream was the 3rd ship Disney introduced into its fleet in 2011. There are 14 passenger decks onboard ship with a passenger capacity of 4,000 and a crew of 1,458. The ship is opulent with an art deco design. There are a total of 1,250 staterooms; with some having a veranda, some an ocean view, and some an inside “view” (Disney does provide a view of the ocean in the room with a state-of-the-art “magic porthole” .) To read more, click here and continue on our new website!http://www.familytravelescapades.com/overview-3-day-disney-dream-cruise/

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5 Overlooked Attractions at Walt Disney World –

1) The Magic of Disney Animation– This is an interactive drawing class led by a Disney artist. Guests learn step-by-step instructions on how to draw a Disney character. You never know which character you will draw, so it is fun to do the class each time you visit WDW. The class takes 30 minutes and you get to take home your art. This is located in Hollywood Studios.Unknown 2) Living With the Land– A relaxing 13-minute boat ride that takes you on an informative journey through a tropical rain forest, a desert complete with sandstorm, and the plains of a small farm. Guests learn about Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Aquaculture. You see many plants with unusual fruits and veggies, and fish farms are also on display. The educational part of this boat ride is geared towards adults, but younger guests will love it also and enjoy spotting the different fruits and vegetables. This is located in Future World at Epcot.Unknown-1 3) One Man’s Dream– This is a tribute to the “Man behind the Magic”. It is a self-guided walking tour that will take you through a series of exhibits including: scaled replicas, photographs, audio interviews and memorabilia that tell the story of Walt Disney. There are over 400 artifacts on display such as models of Main Street U.S.A. from Disneyland, scaled replicas of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle from Disneyland, scaled models of Animal Kingdom and others. There is a re-creation of Walt’s old office, his 2nd grade desk, and even an Academy Award from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on display. This is located in Hollywood Studios.Unknown-3 4)Outdoor entertainment at Epcot- There are a wide variety of performers that are located mostly in World Showcase, with The Jammin’ Jammitors being the exception (they perform a percussion show that is not to be missed in Future World). Each country hosts different acts that perform on a schedule that can be picked up at the park entrance. Just a couple of examples are: Mariachi Cobre at the Mexico Pavilion, the Canadian Lumberjacks at the Canada Pavilion, andThe British Revolution at the United Kingdom Pavilion which are all three band performances.) There are also many other types of entertainment such as Serveur Amusant at the France Pavilion (a very skilled performer balances on chairs stacked seemingly into the clouds. Just kidding, but he does go pretty high!), Taiko Drummers at the Japan Pavilion, Sergio the juggler at the Italy Pavilion, and many more. 5)Flights of Wonder– Several times a day in the Asian area at Animal Kingdom, the Flights of Wonder are performed. The shows are about 25 minutes long and feature over 20 species of exotic birds, including Harris hawks, Barbary falcons, macaws, ibis and yellow-naped Amazon parrots. The show features free-flying birds performing stunts with the trainers auditory cues to guide them. There is also some comedy thrown in that makes the show even better.

Top 5 Money-Saving tips for Disney World-

Perdita (mom) here-

I am the money-manager in the house so I do the investigative work when it comes to saving money for Disney World. Some of the 5 tips for saving money are so long I will have to elaborate in a separate article, but some are not

1)Eat Cheaply-I have covered this in a previous article, but it bears repeating. This one tip alone can save hundreds easily. Some people don’t think about how much a meal can cost (easily $30-40/person). If you have a family of 4 that is about $160. If you factor in 3 meals/day that could easily add up to $500/ day plus any snacks and drinks you may buy at the park. Let’s just say you do spend this much and you are staying 7 days. You can easily see how the meals can add up to thousand alone. I know Disney isn’t cheap for even the “cheap” meals I have advocated, but it makes a real difference.

2) Buy Disney Vacation Club (to save even more, buy on the re-sale market)-
I am writing a couple of articles about this because there is so much about this topic. This one move has enabled us to go to the parks much more frequently than we otherwise would have been able to.

3)Use Miles Cards and sign-up bonuses for your travel
Again I will elaborate more later, but if you have a favorite airline or have one airline (for us it is Southwest Airlines) that is convenient for travel, get their credit card.

4)If you don’t have Disney Vacation Club consider Value and Moderate Resorts
When we called in to Disney in 2009 to make a reservation we didn’t even know there were value resorts. (There are value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villa resorts.) They booked us in a deluxe resort. When I thought back to the time I called several years before and they priced the vacation (the one we couldn’t afford) they also had booked us into a deluxe resort. Ask about all options and check the website.

5)Don’t fall for the “Dining-Plan-Package”
They will tell you that you are saving money when in fact they have that built into the package. If you price the vacation for room only I have found you save money. (a caveat is that is only if you don’t care about eating at the fine dining restaurants). I have found that on room-only reservations you can get about 30% off on the rooms most of the time anyway and they put the dining plan in the package and keep the room at full price. There are exceptions to this but I have found this to be the case when we have called.

More tips later!

Blizzard Beach Overview

Roly (son)

Hello, with summer and Memorial Day in a couple of weeks, and WDW being a notoriously hot and crowded place, I thought I would tell you about something different. Walt Disney World, as many of you know, has two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). I have only been to Blizzard Beach, but hope to go to Typhoon Lagoon soon. I will give a short review of Blizzard Beach.

Blizzard Beach is themed to be somewhere in Florida, where a freak blizzard occurred. Disney (of course) capitalized on this, and built a ski getaway. This ski resort just happens to have watersides through it. The waterslides are made to mimic ski slopes.

The symbol of the park is a ski slope, which you must get to via ski lift. Once you get to the unloading platform, there are three slides you can go down from there. You must climb stairs to get to the top, which is known as Summit Plummet. Summit Plummet is a 12 story high slide, with a near 90 degree angle. It is over before you know it, and you feel like the Hulk gave you a slap on the bum. Make sure to keep your legs together or the experience will be like the Niagra Falls of bidets. You feel like you are floating at some points in the three whole seconds it takes, and you actualy are. It levels out into a long, straight stretch at the end, and you end up swerving around as the water hits you from different angles.

Make sure to close your eyes about when you go into the short covered part, or your eyes will end up stinging.
Make sure to close your eyes about when you go into the short covered part, or your eyes will end up stinging.

This park also has a unique racing slide, Snow Stormers. Each person boards a sled and goes into separate tunnel. In most of the slide you can’t see the other racers, which is different than most racing slides. It is also much longer than any other racing slide that I have been on. There are some other very nice race slides at this park, but the one that I have told you about stands out to me particularly.

The lazy river, Cross Country Creek, is fairly long with water spouts and water falls to make it interesting. My dad and I floated up on a small snake once, but the life guard said it was harmless. The wave pool, Melt Away Bay, is unique in the winter theming being surrounded by “snow.”. It has a sand bottom and a central location. I enjoy both of these.

There is one last slide that I want to talk about; the Slush Gusher. The Slush Gusher is also accessed from the ski lift. It is to the left of Summit Plummet. This slide is at a steep angle, though not nearly as steep as Summit Plummet. You go over several hills, before finally leveling off at the end. You catch air on several of the hills. It’s a very fun slide, though not as intense as Summit Plummet.

These hills send you airborne for about 0.5 seconds before you come back. It is still noticeable, and different from other attractions, except Summit Plummet, and Tower of Terror.
These hills send you airborne for about 0.5 seconds before you come back. It is still noticeable, and different from other attractions, except Summit Plummet, and Tower of Terror.

There are many other slides, but these are my favorites. Here are the names of all of the attractions at Blizzard Beach. The tube rides are Teamboat Springs, and Runoff Rapids. The racing slides are Toboggan Racers, Downhill Double Dipper, and Snow Stormers. The normal ( on your back slide) are Summit Plummet and Slush Gusher. Other attractions are chair lift, Cross County Creek, and Melt Away Bay.There is a kiddie zone which has Tike’s Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp. I hope this was informative. Have a great visit to Blizzard Beach.