Monday, September 27, 2010

Pre-Trip Report

There are 2 ways to follow my upcoming trip to Walt Disney World.
Twitter: Ashley @Disney_Couture


Ashley: Huge Disney enthusiast and blogger. My first trip to Disney I was just 3 years old and I was captivated ever since. I was lucky enough to grow up with a Dad that worked for Disney for part of my childhood and living most of my life in sunny Florida. I am everyone’s go to person about everything Disney. People are always asking me to help them with making their arrangements to the World and I am more than happy to assist. I am an extensive planner who is organized as well as taking the time to enjoy the surroundings of the most Magical Place on Earth.

Rob:  My other half who has taken on loving someone with a Disney addiction. Ha. He watches all the Disney movies with me and contributes to giving in to my infatuation with everything Disney. He enjoys our trips and helps out with some of our planning. What an awesome guy he is.

Supporting Cast

Our friends Lori & Mike from Michigan will be vacationing the same time as us and we will be hanging out with them for most of the trip. My stepson and her son will be meeting for the first time, but we met them years ago in Disney and we have been friends ever since. I love how Disney can bring people together to make friendships.

Our Itinerary

We will be there for 6 days and 5 nights saying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge & the Polynesian. I try to take on the approach that we are on “vacation” and that relaxing should be part of it too. I try to get the most out of our trip and use Touring Plans to decide what days are ideal for making the best use of our time. We will be park hopping as well. Plans include attending Party for the Senses and Lou Mongello’s F&W Walkabout.

We plan on eating at some of our usual restaurants as well as some other new places for us.
Our ADR’s are …
Le Cellier
Cape May (never been)
Kona (b-fast)
Via Napoli (never been)
La Hacienda (never been/hoping for a walk up)

Thanks so much for reading my pre-trip report. I am hoping to be able to type up reports as I go while I am there so I will be able to post them when we get back. I will be taking plenty of pics and posting them up to my Twitter account and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Disney Parks ‘Let the Memories Begin’ 2011 Campaign

In 2011, Disney guests will become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or "it's a small world" at Disneyland Resort.  This groundbreaking new experience will celebrate the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.
And this week, Disney guests will begin starring on television, too, as part of the new "Let the Memories Begin" campaign.  For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in television ads and other marketing that will allow an audience of millions to share in true-life, heartfelt moments.

"A Disney vacation is the perfect way to create family memories that will last a lifetime," said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, at a media announcement Thursday in New York.  "We'll spotlight those 'only-at-Disney' moments with family and friends during our 'Let the Memories Begin' campaign."

A just-released survey of U.S. and Canadian families conducted for Disney Parks by Ypartnership, a noted research firm that tracks consumer insights and trends in travel, showed that vacation memories hold a special place in family history.
Nine out of 10 parents said they planned their vacations with the express hope that they would result in a lasting family memory, the survey showed.  And those memories stuck with them ? nearly three-quarters said they think back "often" or "very often" on their favorite vacation experiences.

'Memories in the Making' to be Shared on Disney Park Icons
Beginning in January 2011, some Disney parks guests will find that the memory they just made has become a larger-than-life image during a "Let the Memories Begin" nighttime experience.  
At Walt Disney World Resort, the guest photos will be projected on the soaring spires of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.  At Disneyland Resort, the iconic facade of "it's a small world" will be the canvas for the show.  
In both locations, Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture guests caught up in the Disney experience ? a memory in the making ? and as many as 500 photos will be used in each location every day, producers estimate.  
The nighttime show will use the latest in high-intensity projection technology to create vivid visuals that seem to defy the architecture of the building.  A new song commissioned for the show will provide an emotional context for these images of the Disney guest experience. 

For TV Ads and More, Disney Parks Issues a 'Call for Memories'
Beyond seeing their own projected photos in lights, guests also could become the stars of Disney Parks television commercials, online campaigns and social media opportunities that will showcase to the world the power of memories.
The campaign kicks off this week with a TV commercial created from videos posted online in social media forums.

For future TV commercials and other advertising and marketing programs, Disney Parks is asking guests to share their memories by uploading photos and videos at a special "Let the Memories Begin" online hub at  From a first meeting with a princess to a laugh-filled watery touchdown on Splash Mountain, Disney Parks is looking for videos and photos that capture those never-to-be-forgotten experiences.
Some memories will be shared online, while others may be selected to share in print ads, brochures and other marketing ? including television ads to air across the United States and Canada.

With real visitor images on iconic attractions and home video featured in commercials, the storytellers at Disney Parks are letting guests tell their own stories in 2011, Staggs said.
"We wanted to give our guests a powerful way to share the memories they create every day in our parks," Staggs said.  "Essentially, this becomes our first user-generated show and our first user-generated marketing campaign
"A day at a Disney park is filled with magical experiences that become cherished and unforgettable memories ? and now we're helping our guests share those memories with the world."

More Ways to Make Disney Vacation Memories in 2011
To help make special memories last a lifetime, in 2011 Disney Parks is adding new theme park experiences in California and Florida, new vacation opportunities on the high seas with Disney Cruise Line, a new luxury resort on a breathtaking lagoon in Hawaii, and new ways to explore the world with Adventures by Disney.
Here's a snapshot of what's in store:
  • "World of Color" (Disneyland Resort): "World of Color," the new nighttime spectacular presented in Disney California Adventure park, brings classic Disney and Disney-Pixar animation to life with nearly 1,200 powerful fountains, larger-than-life projections, lasers, fire, music and special effects.  

  • Disney California Adventure Expansion (Disneyland Resort):  Next up for the continuing expansion of the park is the first major attraction based on the modern Disney classic, "The Little Mermaid."  The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure will treat guests to a musical retelling of the classic motion picture as the best-loved songs come alive in magnificent scenes all around them.  

  • New Star Tours 3-D Adventure (Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort):  Bridging that "long time ago" between the two "Star Wars" trilogies, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will take flight in 2011 and take voyagers to thrilling destinations throughout the "Star Wars" galaxy.  And it will all happen in brilliant, 3-D technology.

  • Disney Cruise Line:  The Disney Dream, the newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line, launching January 2011, will bring to life grand innovations and more, offering a cruise experience from stem to stern that caters to preferences of the entire family.  The Disney Wonder cruise ship will "go west" in early 2011; and new West Coast itineraries for Disney Cruise Line will include, for the first time, Alaska cruises sailing from Vancouver.  

  • Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina Hawai`i:  A first-of-its-kind Disney resort in Hawaii creates a perfect setting for family fun.  The new resort, which includes traditional hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas, is being built on 21 acres of oceanfront property, 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki.

  • Adventures by Disney:  In 2011, Adventures by Disney guests will step off of planes, cruise ships and camels into living chapters of history during seven- and nine-night Egypt itineraries.  These guided travel vacations allow families to visit destinations they never dreamed possible ? including Italy, South Africa and China ? with the assurance of the Disney name.

SOURCE Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prepping for Food & Wine Fest!!!

It's on it's way! Disney's Food and Wine Festival is starting to set up all it's Kiosks along World Showcase. As you may know the festival runs from October 1st through November 14th. I have a couple of suggestions that my help you tour the countries with ease.

1. Get a park map and a festival guide from the entrance of Epcot. This will help you decide on where you want to start off and look over any schedules of demonstrations going on that you may be able to sign up for. Remember that some of the wine seminars and dinners will need to be scheduled ahead of time with reservations.

2. Pick up a Disney wearable mini gift card to load up funds to make purchasing food and souvenirs a lot easier. You can reload it any of the kiosks as you go along. Last year at the bottom of your receipt showed your gift card balance to keep track of spending. Here is this year's design.

3. Make sure you pick up your passport at the festival center to keep track of the food and drinks you sampled that you enjoyed. That way when you get home you have a souvenir of your cuisine experience and you can remember what you had to share your suggestions with others. 

I am heading down to WDW in little over a week and have lots of Food and Wine events planned. I plan to share my experiences with all of you and give you the full report. Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Food/Dining Updates!

La Hacienda is now open in Epcot’s Mexican pavilion! Reservations won’t be accepted until after October 15th, but they are taking walk ups. For some wonderful pictures of the new restaurant please check out Disney’s official site.

On the ADR front Disney is now offering a mobile format to make dining reservations. Currently they have iPhone and Droid systems available but Blackberry will be released soon. You will be able to search for reservations by different categories: Date, time, resort, park, and type of food that may be interested in. You don’t have to download this App. It a Disney site made for mobile phones to easily navigate their dining system.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's In Your Bag?

I started thinking about what type of bags that people bring with them into the parks and what type of items are a "must" to be carried with them. There are several types of bags people use...

Back Packs

Diaper Bags

Fanny Packs


Small Purses/ Wristlets


When I am in the parks I use a baggallini. Some of you are going "huh what is that?" Baggallini's come in different varieties. They are small bags that were designed by flight attendants for smart travel and it is machine washable. I have the small backpack style with the one shoulder strap. It is compact but can hold so much stuff. It has a little compartment for your water bottle, keys and on the front strap is a place for your Key to the World card and ID. There is a small band built in to hold your cards in tight. I couldn't travel without it. I love how I am able to be hands free and access what I need without feeling like I am carrying a bulk of stuff on my shoulders. Here is a picture of the Baggallini the one I own personally is lime green.

Now on to what people bring with them into the parks. I have to have my camera, cell phone, small tube of sunblock, poncho, lip gloss, Advil, list of Adr confirmation numbers and baggies to put stuff in if it rains.  Depending on weather I may bring a light sweatshirt. I like to keep things as light as possible. 

I would love to know what kind of bag you take with you in the parks and the stuff you "must" bring. For those of you that go without a bag at all I want to know how you do it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Planning for the World

I have been wondering how many of you Disney goers out there do your planning. Some people are really into the details. They plan everything ahead with which park on what day and so on. Some 180 days in advance with spreadsheets and binders full of Disney information. Then there are others that don’t make any concrete reservations, they just go where the wind takes them. They don’t have any sort of plans set.

As for myself I am a Disney neurotic planner. I have to make sure that I have all my dates, ADR’s and plans set in place. I like to figure out which parks we want to start out in and then proceed to where our dinner reservations will be. That will help to decide where we will most likely start and end the day. I love eating at the Table Service restaurants in WDW so I take the time to figure out where everyone wants to eat to coordinate the times we can get for our Advance Dining Reservations. It always good to have backups to where you want to dine in case your first choice is booked up.

I then create a spreadsheet that has the confirmation numbers, time of events, parks to avoid and park hours to keep with me. I don’t go verbatim to the plan but I like to have an idea of what is the best way to maximize our fun and time at Disney.

Touring is a great resource to use when planning your trip. They give you crowd calendars and tips to let you know what parks are less crowded each day of your vacation. It really saves you a lot of your valuable time. You can also pick up The Unofficial Guide which in my opinion is the best guidebook about Walt Disney World and traveling.

I would love to hear from all of you in the Disney committee on how you go about with you planning. Are you a planner or a wing it kind of person?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


It is true! Le Cellier will become a Signature restaurant for dinner only starting March 1st, 2011. I spoke with a castmember on the Disney Dining line tonight to confirm this information.  Hopefully this new change will work out for the better.