Many Different Way Of Travelling To Disney

Based on where you live you have already figured out the best way for your family to get to Disney World, or DisneyLand.  I have been doing a lot of different research throughout the years and have many different views on this.

Originally when my wife was just my girlfriend we went to Florida with my parents.  All of us packed into my parents RV.  It was pretty nice being able to get up, and down whenever we chose.  Having a refrigerator was great too.  Once we decided we wanted to vacation at our own pace we didn’t really get to go away with them much anymore.

We used to drive to, and from New Jersey to Orlando, FL.  The costs of fuel wasn’t as bad back then.  One year we took my mom to the airport so she could go home.  Within 3 hours she called us and told us that she was home.  Well… We weren’t even halfway out of Florida due to traffic, and such.  After that we started looking into flights.  There are only a small handful of companies that actually transport between New Jersey and Orlando, FL. without stop offs.  Whenever we could we would book the travel, but we also learned something about the flights.  If you were selected from “volunteers” at the flight gate you were eligible to be “Bumped”.  This bump would get you a different flight later that day, or the next day.  In addition it would normally include hotel, and meal voucher.  The bad part about flying is that you either need to stay strictly on Disney grounds, or you need to rent a vehicle.  I routinely see specials on many of the airlines like Kuwait Airways flights, and Alitalia, but these are just not going to be something I can use.

The way we are travelling now is with Amtrak.  We take our car on the train and that allows us to have our own vehicle in Florida and also makes it so that we don’t have to rent a car.  A few years ago we found out about a credit card through chase that allows us to earn miles for each dollar spent.  Those miles can be redeemed towards travel.  We only get to travel one way because when we take our vacations it is usually a holiday time, and Amtrak has “Black Out” periods that make it so we can’t use our “Amtrak Guest Rewards” to get FREE travel one of the ways.  On the train we board around 3pm.  We are served dinner that night, and breakfast the next day.  There is a smoking car, electric for laptops, etc., and a car on the train that offers cookies, fruit, water  and more.

How do you travel to Florida?  Is it cost effective in your opinion?  Do you have any suggestions?

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Upcoming Vacation To Orlando

At the end of March we are taking a small trip down to Orlando.  We are going to stay in one of our timeshare resorts on Disney grounds.  This year it will be the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  For the most part we usually bounce around between Old Key West, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge because of point values on our DVC membership.  We have quite a bit of plans already made, but there are still some things that need attending to.  This year we have also made considerable changes to our clothing situation.  My wife is currently making sure that her shoes are going to be comfortable enough for the trip.  She always has aching feet by the end of our trip.  If we get there and she is having issues we may have to go out and find her some sort of better supporting sneakers, or even orthaheel sandals if they can be found.

We have 1 day in the Disney parks already arranged.  From there we will probably check out some of the area attractions.  Our daughter has gotten tired of Disney.  Now that I have said that I will add this… I never thought that any child of mine would grow tired of Disney.  I mean it’s not like we go into the parks every single day.  We usually only go into the parks 1 or 2 times.

During this trip we have already discussed that we mainly want to hit a few rides, and also check out the new additions to Fantasyland.  From the photos, and videos that I have seen I don’t foresee being disappointed with what they have accomplished.

One thing that I think that Disney should do is find some sort of way to give DVC members access to a special “Fastpass”.  After all the DVC members have spent quite a bit of money.

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New York Disney Magic 8 Night Cruise Day 1

For the days prior to our cruise we were bombarded with things to do.  I was working until the Thursday before the cruise so I didn’t get to help my wife get everything done.  One of my friends assisted us in watching our birds, cats, dogs, and rabbit.  Early the next week he would be relieved of one of the dogs because my parents took one for us because someone else had failed to keep a promise.

We ended up driving to the city because another series of “Unfortunate” events made it so that we had no choice.  We found a parking lot that was a few blocks away, but was drastically cheaper than parking at the actual cruise pier.  After hailing a cab we were whisked away to start our trip.

On August 25 we boarded the Disney Magic in New York City for a 8 night cruise.  Our ports of call were Nassau, Castaway Cay (Disney’s Private Island), and Port Canaveral (Day at the Disney World Resort).  At check-in we asked about any available upgrades.  We were told that there was only 1 upgrade available for the entire cruise.  What we found out was that the upgrade was only good for 3 people, and that we happened to ask before anyone else.  The stateroom we booked originally was a inside stateroom.  The attendant offered us a verandah stateroom.  Being my birthday was only 2 days away my wife decided that we would get the upgrade.  This also served her well because now she could smoke on the verandah in addition to Deck 9.  When we got on the ship we were advised that we could go to one of two locations for lunch.  We chose to go to Topsiders for the buffet.  This was so that we could see as much of New York from the ship as possible.  We were docked 2 piers from the Intrepid Museum, but got a real nice view.  By 11:30am we were able to go to our staterooms.  For us our luggage would be delayed because of the room switch.  The safety drill took place, and then we were free to do as we wished.

Within a few hours it was time for the “Adventures Away” deck party.  The cruise staff came out, and were joined by some of the Disney characters.  Once we were under way everyone seemed to converge on the front of the boat.  This was to see the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower, and also to see the ship go under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  It was a set of sights not to be missed.  For us our little one disappeared with her newly found friends, and she didn’t want to see the sights.  We have always chosen the later seating for dinner, and that is mainly because we know you can eat up on Deck 9 until late, and we didn’t want to be rushed either.

Later that night we went to Parrots Cay for dinner.  We had arranged to sit with a few other families that we had met through the Facebook page I had created for people sailing with us.  It was a fun night.

After dinner we went down to our stateroom and decided to finish unpacking, and relax for a bit.  We ended up laying down and watching a movie on the tv.  Little did we know that we fell asleep before our little one returned.  She came in and woke us, then proceeded to complain that we went to sleep without her being back in the room.  We apologized.  She was fine… She just wanted to let us know that she was back.

Part 2 will be up shortly so keep checking back for more.

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Disney Timeshare Are Quite Authentic

Now that I have owned my timeshare for a few years we have visited quite a few of the resorts in the Disney Vacation Club system. Each of the resorts has their own personalized look to them. There is a broad selection of looks that you can find. I have not caught a glimpse of what the new Grand Floridian DVC resort will look like. My family has stayed at the Grand Floridian, and the atmosphere is very nice, and the look of the resort is very unique.

My family like the Animal Kindgom Lodge. The rooms have a look as if they came straight out of Africa. They may not have rustic dining tables, but they fit with the theme perfectly. If you don’t know it, or have never seen the DVC resorts then you should know that Disney does a spectacular job at revolving their resorts around a specific theme.

The one resort that I haven’t fully figured out is Old Key West. The look of that resort is very similar to the look of the Boardwalk Resort.

What are your thoughts on the DVC Resorts? Do you think that they have done a good job at decorating the resorts?

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Children Getting Some Slack In Disney

Our little one is getting older, and she is moving through her school years very quickly.  Maybe it just seems that way.  Wife and I have been discussing what we are going to do when our little one graduates from 8th grade.  We have been gradually doing small trips with her friends.  We have been thinking about if her 8th grade graduation might be a point where we can trust her a bit more by taking a friend with us to Disney World.  This will be our graduation gift to her.

If I recall correct when I was a child I got to do a few things around the time of my 8th grade.  Most parents might say No, but there is always a possibility.  Times have changed, and we have been trying to give our little one a little bit of freedom.  Disney World is a big place, but we don’t mean total unsupervised.  We are more pointed at giving them an hour or so and then meet back up with us.  We don’t believe in children going off and doing just anything that they want.  Parents that allow this kind of behavior need to have their heads examined.  They either don’t care what their kids do, or they don’t think that their kids will do things that they do.

Have you ever thought of doing something like this?  What was the result?  Did you regret it?

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