Tuesday

The Love Bugs


The past few weeks Walt Disney World has seen more crowded restaurants, attractions, buses, boats and bugs. Yes bugs! The infamous Love Bugs! Not Herbie the Love Bug, although he is in the news of late, since Disney has announced he will be retired this month from the  Lights, Motors, Action-Extreme Stunt Show attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The pesky little flying Love Bugs can be seen lovin’ it up airborne everywhere and there’s not much anyone can do but shoo them away and wipe them off the windshield. It has been reported on a few of the boards that this year isn't as bad as years passed. That's welcome news!

Sunday

Deb's Disney Pic of the Day





Wishing everyone a Great Memorial Day Weekend!!

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Friday

Star Wars Weekend Pics & Tips




Walt Disney World Star Wars Weekends (SWW) are galactic weekend events that are filled with fantastic family fun. With a little planning you'll feel the force without feeling the dark side and enjoy the weekend!

Touring Tips: Arrive as early as is physically possible. You may hear this suggestion often for touring the parks but for Star Wars Weekends (SWW) it is really important. Skip the big resort breakfast for a quick meal. Fans line up at the crack of dawn. If you have a car this is the day you'll want to use it. One morning our bus from Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa was 40 minutes late. This put us at the back of the wild and crazy pack of fans entering the park.


We arrived in time to enjoy the Stormtroopers entertaining the crowds. If that’s not your thing then head straight to Star Tours 3D ride for a FP and then join the que. If you’re lucky your first ride of the day will be Star Tours 3D.
  

The Star Wars Weekend guide is a valuable planning tool. Pick one up as soon as you reach your resort. Review it ahead of time. As you will see from the map, the park is loosely divided into two different experiences. The "dark side" or the "bad guys" are at the back of the park. These would be the most notorious of all the Star Wars villains. The "good guys" can be seen toward the middle to front of the park. For example, Minnie Leia and Jedi Mickey would be found in the front of the parks in meet and greet areas. This was designed so youngsters who are fearful of Darth Vader and the villainous characters don't have an unexpected scary encounter. Another example of Disney event coordinators planning for the best possible experience for all ages.


Of course my sons head for the back of the park, right away. There you'll find character meet and greets, encounter Stormtroopers interacting with the crowd, signing autographs and posing for pics. Peter brought his Star Wars trading cards for them to sign. A fun and different souvenir.





Photo & Savings Tips:

PhotoPass Photographers (PP) are available throughout the park. Hand them your camera, they’ll take your pictures using your camera. A few good shots from your own camera can save you $ when it’s time to order prints. You can always add your pics to the PP CD later when you order it. Be sure to check your camera settings after PP have used it. It’s happened too often that settings needed to be reset.

Savings & Shopping Tips: 

Stop by Jabba's Hut, for special SWW merchandise. Each weekend 2 pins are introduced and in limited quantity. Shop early for limited edition numbered items, they go quickly. Or, as we did shop late and leisurely after the rush is over. SWW shirts and a limited amount of merchandise is available in the Backlot kiosk but not throughout the park. I bought a few Star Wars shirts before we left home. They were 2 for $9.99 on sale (and I used a coupon:) at Kohl's. We were approached many times by Guests asking where they could purchase shirts like ours.
Of course you can shop at Tattoine Traders after exiting the ride. New merchandise is often in limited supply even though they replenish constantly. If your size isn't out, ask. A Cast Member will gladly look in stock for you.





Photo & Touring Tips:

The Celebrity Star Wars Motorcade Parade is a must-see. Find a spot in the shade along the curb and behind the tape. Mind where the sun is in the sky. If you're in that spot you shouldn't be shooting into the sun.

Look for these Celebrity Hosts:
James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Star Wars Weekend Bounty Hunter Aurra Sing


Touring Tip: 
Keep up with the latest happenings during SWW 
Text STAR2 to DPARK (37275) to receive tips and real-time updates while you are in WDW! 







Photo Tip: Don't miss Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers characters at the "Hyperspace Hoopla" dance party at the close of the day. It is out-of-this-world entertainment!

Here's a lil vid (not big enough to be called a video:) that DS, Peter took with his little Nikon 3100 point and shoot camera. There's no sound, it's wobbly but you get the idea. Hum if know the tune to Thriller, don't worry it's only for 30 seconds!
video


We'll be revisiting Star Wars Weekends in posts to come so, please be sure to stop back.
I'll leave the light on for ya' ºoº May the force be with you!

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Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday~ Darth Maul Strikes a Pose


"Fear. Fear attracts the fearful…the strong…the weak…the innocent…the corrupt. 
Fear. Fear is my ally."


~Darth Maul, Dathomiri Zabrak Sith Lord~ 

Tuesday

Disney Character Voicemail

This Tuesday’s Tip is a little one filled with Disney magic. Next time you’re making a resort reservation through the Walt Disney World Reservation Center (Member Services) or when you sign-up for online check-in be sure to indicate any special occasions you may be celebrating  while in WDW. You might surprised to receive a special Disney character voicemail message on your in-room phone! We did, and it was a magical moment!





Monday

The Wilderness Lodge Lobby

Taken with a Nikon D200, 18mm, Manual, ISO 200, F6.3, 1.0sec

The Wilderness Lodge Resort's impressive 7-story lobby is usually the bustling hub of activities. At midnight it's magical. 

__________________________________________________________

My condolences, thoughts and prayers are with 
Disney friend, Lorie (MinnieLor) and her husband Glenn's family 
and all the the people of Joplin, MO.
If you would like to attend the memorial at Epcot check here for the date and time.
_______________________________________________________

Sunday

Weekly Recap ~ May 22nd

This week was frenetic but we stayed focused on the magic with posts of our favorite resort, Star Tours - The Adventures Continue and Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides 
  • We started our blog week on Tuesday with our favorite Walt Disney World resort. The Boardwalk Villas here.
  • I was finally Wordless on Wednesday, with a pic taken at Star Wars Weekend which can be viewed here - Boba Fett to Darth Maul...
  • Thursday, Arrrgh I missed out on the Disneyland Blog Hop Pirate Day but posted in the spirit of the day anyway. Here it is - Pirates of The Caribbean Attraction ~ Photo Tips
  • Friday was the official opening of Star Tours - The Adventures Continue ride at WDW. I enjoyed watching the grand opening ceremonies on the The Disney Parks Blog
  • On Saturday I shared how we created and printed Star Tours 3D Galactic Passports and how to send Star Tours e-postcard from the ride Star Tours - The Adventures Continue 
Hope you had a magical ºoº week! See ya!

Saturday

Star Tours 3D printable Galactic Passports & Star Tours e-postcards



Along with your autograph books you may want to pack Star Tours 3D Galactic Passport  for your many intergalactic adventures on the ride Star Tours - The Adventures Continue
Or, you can create a Star Tours e-postcard to share with friends on Facebook? Star Tours has an app for that:)
Great souvenirs and they're free!




Friday

Foto Friday ~ May the Force be with You!


The Disney Parks Blog was LIVE from their new spaceport, Star Tours earlier today. It was an exciting webcast of the grand opening of “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue” as it happened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Highlights will be shown in photos and clips throughout today. Their live feed was imagineered with clips making it truly Disney magic. The most galactic appearance for me was George Lucas, the Jedi Master himself. 
Simultaneously I watched a live UStream feed from WDWRadio of the grand opening event. Lou Mongello  then took us on the new Star Tours ride via "the box", Lou's laptop. Inside the box looking out, the ride was an amazing 4 minutes. I can't wait to experience it live..in person and out of "the box"!
For your Star Wars fix throughout the weekend,there's lots more news and info coming out of DHS from our friends, Kristen & Aljon @WDWTikiRoom on Sorcerer Radio so stay tuned.





May the Force be with you!!!
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Thursday

Pirates of The Caribbean Attraction ~ Photo Tips

Yo Ho! Yo Ho! It’s a pirates life for me! ! Ahoy and welcome aboard! Arrrrgh, so we're talkin' pirates today. I love the POTC movies and the ride!  Here are a few Pirates of The Caribbean (POTC) ride picture takin' tips.. me hardies, Yo Ho!

POTC is considered one of the "dark" rides and not only because it's scary to young ones. The lighting is low. So low you can't see your hand in front of you. That adds to the Disney magic but makes it a challenge to take well exposed pics unless you're prepared.

Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday~Boba Fett to Darth Maul...


Grab your lightsabers, Star Wars Weekends start May 20th with Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) as celebrity host.   
Let the force be with you!!!!!


Tuesday

Favorite Walt Disney World Resort

This month's topic is A thousand worlds in one - which resort is "home" to you and why?
My favorite Walt Disney World  Resort and one I call "home" is The Boardwalk Villas. We became members of The Disney Vacation Club (DVC)  in 1998 at The Boardwalk Villas. After staying across Crescent Lake at The Yacht/Beach Club a few times we got to know and love the Epcot resort area.  
The Boardwalk Villas (BWV) charm and elegant turn-of-the-century seaside resort theme  makes me feel as though I were stepping back in time. A time when woman carried parasols and men straw boaters. The attention to detail is amazing and there seems to be a beautiful Victorian story related to the details.

The miniature carousel in the lobby was hand-crafted in the early1900s at NY's Coney Island by M.C. Illions, a master designer and manufacturer of merry-go-rounds.

Everywhere you look there's something to remind you of that wonderful era. It is also such a good feeling to hear "welcome home" after a long day of travel or park touring as you enter the lobby. 



I enjoy sitting in a wicker rocker at The Bellevue Room reading or having cocktails before dinner. Also, a great place for the boys to grab a morning snack and hang out while mom is getting ready for the day;)




Food is more than just sustenance for us when we are on vacation. It's become a large part of our trips. During The Food & Wine Festival it is the trip! The BoardWalk area is full of great dining options that are insanely good. 
For a full sit down breakfast we frequent Kouzzina and Cape May Buffet. On days we're eating in DS will do a "muffin run" with our refillable mugs and bring back tasty fresh baked treats from The Bakery with coffee.They also make very good lunches and breakfasts that are 1C credit on the Disney Dining Plan. 
The atmosphere on the BoardWalk day and night is great, there's always something to do. 


Out on the BoardWalk there's entertainment with jugglers, musicians and fun games for all ages. When my kids were old enough to, I didn't mind letting them wander around a bit while we sat on a bench and relaxed. It's a safe fun place to be. Now they like to hang out and make friends on their own. DH & I enjoy the dueling pianos at Jellyrolls and Wed. night is DVC night at Atlantic Dance which I can't seem to drag DH too;) My sister and I had fun there but the night's not over until we stop in at Seashore Sweets for a "Black & White" soda..YUM! If you've never had one, the ingredients are chocolate syrup, milk, ice cream, vanilla extract and fountain/club soda. Try it sometime!!


The  activities at the BWV's are numerous and you can't possibly do every activity. I usually read the newsletter when we first arrive to plan what we'll be doing at the resort. 
Some of the things we like to do are renting "water mice" to buzz around Crescent Lake or a fishing excursion. There are standard bikes to rent at the community hall and outside in front of the resort you can rent surrey bikes that will fit up to 6 people. 
The kids have fun riding the 200-foot-long Keister Coaster water slide at the Villa's circus-themed Luna Park Pool, and the really little ones enjoy  splashing around under the water spouting elephants . DH & I enjoy the quiet pools or spas at night. There's Muscles & Bustles Health Club, with state-of-the-art exercise equipment that we've only walked through. I don't exercise while on vacation unless you count all the walking around the parks. There's also an arcade that we enjoy on rainy days. The Community Hall has lots of games and DVDs to borrow.


The BWV's, are located exactly where my family likes to be too, halfway between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios (DHS). It's a nice stroll over to Epcot or you can take one of the Friendship boats.The walk to Epcot is about 5-10 minutes and the walk to DHS is about 20 min depending on my energy level.


Hi Ho!!!!!!



My sons and even DH would rather walk than take the Friendship boats back and forth to Epcot or DHS. I'm the one that has to be convinced and eventually I'll give in to their requests. Secretly, I enjoy these leisurely walks (even after a long day walking around the parks) because it's the perfect time to have a long uninterrupted conversation with them. Walking and talking while sharing a lot of laughs. Like this candid moment. No warning just a "Look Mom!" 


Over the years we’ve stayed in just about all the different sizes of accommodations, views and locations that are available, except the grand villa. Studios, one bedroom villas, two bedroom villas separate and lock-offs. I don't have a preference. Each one has offered its own unique experience for us. 


I love having a kitchen and laundry right in the villas. I don't cook big sit down meals when we're on vacation but it's nice to have sandwiches or light meals. I do laundry and when DS would visit from college I did a lot of laundry. 


When our two boys were small we would stay in a one bedroom with the boys sleeping on the pull-out couch in the living room.As they got bigger and older we started staying in a two bedroom if we traveled all together. 


It's very relaxing and quiet. I've never had a problem with noisy neighbors (unlike some other resorts) or sounds coming from the BoardWalk. If you're on the canal side you do hear the boat horn as it goes under the Swan & Dolphin bridge, but I like that. One of our favorite things to do is sit on the balcony at the end of a long day, eat popcorn, sip wine and chat about the days events. 



The Boardwalk Villas has so much to offer our family. As you can imagine over the years I've built up quite a sentimental affection for the BWV. That's why it's our favorite WDW resort!

Do you have a favorite WDW resort? 



Monday

Magical Moments Monday

This was a truly magical meet up at DHS with a few Disney Online Community Greats!

Disney Décor In and Out

The fun topic of the day is Disney Décor.
I’ve grown fond of reading the blogs on the Babes in Disneyland hop and have met many interesting bloggers over the last few weeks. I usually have something to contribute on each topic. Disney décor is no exception. I love to shop, decorate and surround myself with an eclectic collection of Disney treasures I've picked up on trips. Just about every room in my home has a touch of Disney somewhere. I'll try and be brief sharing with you a little bit of my Disney décor.
Before we look inside let's first take a look outside in the garden.



The Disneyland rose is one of my favorite rose bushes. I have a lot of rose bushes from David Austin to Heirloom but when this was introduced in 2003 it quickly became a new favorite of mine. I used it in my banner at the top of the page I liked it so much.
It’s a floribunda with 3 ½” bright pink to an orange center flowers that are large and showy in clusters with glossy leaves. It has excellent vigor and flower production and is disease resistant.

How cool was this a Hidden Mickey on a Disneyland Rose bush!

Back in the house I have a throw on a chair in my den that came from a shopping spree in Epcot last Christmas. The blanket was a nominal amount if you spent over I think it was $100 (not sure) I do know it came in handy on the freezing plane ride and now on cold winter nights watching TV.
This is a painting I commissioned in 1989 of the then three of us (pre Peter) and Piper. DH hates it, I don't like it but after all these years I've gotten used to it. Besides, we only see it on the rare occasion we eat in the dining room. So what makes this painting Disney? Well I asked the painter to put a hidden mickey in it. He thought I was a bit touched and maybe he's right. I thought it would be fun and memorable since we'd just come back from a great trip to WDW. It’s in the trees. Not easily spotted by guests. Also just for fun the road spells Oz. My favorite movie.

On the piano I have quite a few framed pictures that I change around all the time. One that stays is a cut-out silhouette of Tyler from Walt Disney World.


My niece and her new husband have a spot on my piano as well. We had given her our Disney Vacation Club points to use for her honeymoon. They enjoyed a week at The Boardwalk Villas.

Here are two pieces that were a gift from DH. They’re two numbered framed actual film clips from the movies, Lady and The Tramp and Song of the South. Normally they’re hanging but to get the picture of them I brought them down.



Our collections include many vintage Disney books. We enjoy reading well, most of us do. DH does a lot of reading at work so he doesn't read as much anymore. He took out some old sheet music last night and played.




In the kitchen I have Disney cookbooks, dishes, oven mitts and chef mickey accessories.Then there are the mugs. We have mugs enough for every day in the month and that's not counting the refillables!


Well, that's it for today. I tried to make it brief but when you're as big a fan as I am it's tough to pick just a few.
Do you have Disney in your decor?
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