Posts Tagged With: disney

Pub Crawl Disney Style

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Beer’s around the world can make you do crazy things.

When you’re at Walt Disney World and have a free afternoon at Epcot what should you do? Have an Around The World Pub Crawl of course. Back in early November when my family was there I had to take the opportunity to tick this one item off my bucket list. Yeah I know kind of cheesy, but at least I didn’t buy a t-shirt to commemorate the achievement. Here’s my accomplishment in all it’s glory. For all you beer aficionados, no I didn’t take notes of what I drank. Sorry.

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Categories: Around the world, Beer, Food, Travel, Travel Blog, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Walt Disney World: Wandering the parks a photo essay

For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.

Previous Posts:
Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW
Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay
Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Giraffes, giraffes, giraffes, elephants and lions oh my!
Wandering the parks a photo essay

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Kaaaa Chaw

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Selfie of a selfie

Recently my family and I went to Walt Disney World for a weeklong vacation. We had a great time and enjoyed the park immensely. I’ve been meaning to post some of my favorite pictures that didn’t make the cut in other posts, so I’m finally getting around to doing so. Continue reading

Categories: Animals, Art, Disney, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Photo of the Week: May 31

May the Fourth Be With You

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May fourth is a special day in Star Wars World it’s the unofficial holiday for all things Star Wars. On that day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios they were selling this awesome Darth Vader Cupcake. Yum Yum Yum.

Categories: Disney, Food, Photo of the Week, Star Wars, Travel, Travel Blog, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Giraffes, giraffes, giraffes, elephants and lions oh my

Giraffes, giraffes, giraffes, elephants and lions oh my!

For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.

Previous Posts:
Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW
Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay
Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Giraffes, giraffes, giraffes, elephants and lions oh my!
Wandering the parks

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Categories: Animals, Disney, Hotels, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.

Previous Posts:
Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW
Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay
Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Giraffes, giraffes, giraffes, elephants and lions oh my!
Wandering the parks

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Hotel map

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Categories: Disney, Hotels, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Trip Report, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Review: WDW Magic Bands

For our annual vacation this year we decided to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a week. This trip report contains entries on why we’re going, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did at the Mouse House.

Previous Posts:

Yeti Up, Yet’s Go- Why we’re going to WDW
Why I spent $160 on Delta Airlines- planning our trip to WDW

Review: WDW Magic Bands-A new way to stay, play and pay

Review: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Well the test of Disney Magic Bands is now no longer a test as of April 30th it is now available to anyone that goes to any of the Walt Disney World Parks. They have been testing it for almost a year for hotel guests and annual pass holders, but now any guest that wants to fork over the $12.95 for a Magic Band can do so and take advantage of the perks.

My family was at the WDW for eight nights in early May and because we had booked a room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge we had the opportunity to pre-order the bands and have them sent to our home or directly to the hotel, and because we were a guest the bands were free. The perk itself is pretty cool. It allows you to do several things from open your room door, pay for meals and souvenirs, get into the park (if you link your park ticket to your My Magic account) and also make Fast Pass reservations up to 60 days in advance.

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Forget pin trading buy a band

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Categories: Disney, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Yeti Up, Yet’s Go!

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The shirt my wife and friend designed for their Expedition Team

Our trip to Florida is finally here, We’ve been in desperate need of a vacation. As a Christmas gift to my wife I had signed her up for the Run Disney Expedition Everest 5k Challenge. She’s become a runner, and has done several 5, 10k and half marathons, like there no big thing. Two of her races have been at Disneyland, and I know she really wanted to do a race at Walt Disney World. So I though what better then to sign her up. No I won’t be running, someone has to watch the kid while she runs. Pretty good excuse huh?

I waited to book airfare, till after I gave her the gift. Just in case this was not her idea of a good time. I knew the running part would be easy since she can roll out of bed any morning and do 5k, before I even wake up. But I had no idea if the scavenger hunt part would be something that she’d be into. Thankfully she was up for it, and my gift was not a flop.

Stay tuned for more about our trip. From planning a weeklong vacation at WDW, flying across the country with our almost three year old and even a few packing tips.

 

Categories: Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The Magic is Here

My band

My band

We received our package in the mail this week, and I’m proud to say that I am the owner of a Magic Band. In a few weeks we’ll be heading to Wald Disney World, for a weeklong vacation with another family and to prepare for our trip we got a chance to order Magic Bands. If you’re not familiar with them, they are the new replacement to the vaunted paper Fast Pass, first introduced in 1999 for Mission to Mars at WDW, I’m not 100% sure but I believe the first ride in California with Fast Pass was The Indian Jones Adventure. Fast Pass was and is the reservation system for getting a ticket to an attraction with a specific return time. The idea was to cut down the sometimes hours long wait to enjoy one of the spectacular rides and attractions. Over the years the process has morphed from unlimited distribution of them via a AAA ticket purchase to getting one ever few hours based on some Disney formula to now only being able to redeem them during the specific hour long return time.

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Categories: Disney, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Tools, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

To Parade or not Parade that is the Question

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Who got to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? This guy. About six weeks before Turkey Day, my wife was offered an incredible opportunity to participate in the parade, and immediately said “yes”. How could she resist, sure we were planning on having our families over and even had two relatives flying from out of town for the holidays. But hey opportunities like this don’t come around that often and so she had to jump at the chance. Thankfully our families were incredibly understanding and made other arrangements and the out of towners just came with us.

My wife was lucky enough to be asked to help hold Buzz Lightyear in his final appearance in the Parade, after five years he’s retiring and that meant a trip to NYC for the three of us. She even had the opportunity to have a guest participate, and that meant our out of town guests to come with us and have our aunt help keep Buzz from flying away. Unfortunately, I could not participate since someone had to watch the munchkin since she didn’t meet the weight requirement. But hey that’s ok, we got grandstand seats between 72nd and 76th street on Central Park West, so we’d be set.

Oh yeah there was one other wildcard, because of the possibility of very very high winds, there was a chance that the balloons would be shelved for the first time in over 40 years. Up until Thanksgiving morning, we had no idea if Buzz would fly or not. We were lucky though the wind although very present, didn’t keep the balloons form flying, but they were cinched up super low to the ground. But at least they flew, can you imagine we moved heaven and earth to be here and now balloons, that would just have been too funny.

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Hi mommy, how’s it hanging
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It was a very early day for us we had to be at the seats by 8 am and were about 1 ½ miles away, it was way too cold to walk and we couldn’t bring a stroller, so a 6 AM wakeup call was in order and a hotel exit by 6:45. Mental note for next time, give yourself twice as much time as you think you’ll need to get a kid bundled up for the cold weather. I thought 45 minutes was enough, but man all the protesting to put on thermals, pants three layers of shirts and a jacket was incredibly tough. But hey were in NYC for the ultimate parade, and we get to see mommy walking in it holding Buzz. How cool is that. Besides little “S” was jazzed to go the parade even though she really had no idea what one was. I made sure to bring enough entertainment, food and distractions or so I thought. Unfortunately with temps in the high 20’s we were all miserable, but we were here and very excited to see mom in action soon. Being Bay Area natives, we just were not prepared for the cold, even though we had layers we just didn’t have enough stuff to keep us warm. Thankfully our hotel suggested we take blankets otherwise we would have been even colder then we already were. How do you explain to a 2 ½ year old why it’s so cold, and that you MUST keep your hand and gloves on. If you have any suggestions please tell me, cause I tried every trick in the book, and was just not that successful.

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In any even the parade was a really really great time, if there ever is a next time, I will take even more layer and more blankets. This was an amazing one in a lifetime experience and I’m so happy my wife got to knock off one of her bucket list items, I’ve had my chances this year to knock off so many, it was nice to see her get a chance too.

Categories: Americana, Disney, Family, Photography, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Run Disney Run

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Well as promised here’s part two of our trip to Disneyland . The main purpose of this trip was to support my way better half in her quest to run and complete her second 10k (6.2 miles) in case you were curious. Let’s start off by saying she did great!!! And I’m way way proud of her for this major accomplishment, it’s definitely a proud moment to see your best friend work towards and complete a challenge like this. Major Kudos wifey.

So our trip started out with a 9 am JetBlue flight from SFO, because it was the long weekend and with the Bay Bridge shut down for the final construction to connect the new Eastern Span, we had to go over the San Mateo Bridge. With this many variables, we had an early day and left the house at 6 am. Plus once we got to SFO we had a rental car to gas up and drop off at the central rental car center (this ended up being a huge stroke of luck on our return) and bags to check. Travelling with a child is so much different than travelling solo. For a three night trip, we had three suitcases, a car seat, stroller, my backpack, a diaper bag and a little backpack full of toys for “S”. Man I’m just tired thinking about it. I wanted to take a picture of our treasure trove, but in all out haste I didn’t.

We made it to the airport in an hour and a half which was not too bad, I dropped off the girls, and my wife became a Sherpa carrying all the bags except for my carryon and suitcase. Since we had three tickets she could check our other two bags, stroller and car seat for free so I sent her off with all the stuff. In our travels with our kid, we’ve found it easier to drop off one parent first, then drop off the car and meet up after security. As opposed to us attempting to lug all our stuff from some parking lot or air train station to the airport. Obviously the best option is a private car or shuttle directly to the airport, but a long weekend parking fees and the like vs. a rental car paid with on points was really a good alternative.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day

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My family

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After security I met the family at a coffee shop, we had a quick breakfast and then spent the last hour or so looking for planes. “S” loves airplanes and is always quick to point them out when we’re at home and she sees them in the air or at the airport. Whatever it takes to entertain a 2+ YO. Well we made it to Long Beach w/out a hitch, having TV on the plane and lots of new toys really helps. My only gripe was two kids channels and what are they showing Adult Swim and Family Guy, not exactly kid friendly programming, needless to say the route map seemed to work ok. We did have stuff on the iPad, but we just never pulled it out. Toys and some TV for an hour flight worked out great. Thankfully this was not our first flight with the munchkin so we at least have the airplane part mostly down pat.

Dude where’s the plane

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Handy Manny managed to stow away on our flight

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So onto Disneyland we had a day at the park before the race and spent most of the day at California Adventure. With the last two years’ worth of remodeling and renewing the park it’s really a great place to hang out. Plus there are tons of rides for little ones to do there. I think we spent most of our time at Grizzly Peak (formerly Brother Bear), so “S” could run around and climb stuff, we also did the Chew Chew Train at least 5 times, I love that ride. Besides that California Screaming single rider, and no “S” didn’t get to do that one, and then lots of time was spent at the Triton’s Merry-Go-Round. Since we had so many days at the park, and have been here so many times, we’re never in a hurry to do a specific ride, and if I miss out on something this trip there’s always the next one, so I never feel like I’ve missed out on something. This particularly holds true with a little one, there are only so many rides they can do, and there’s only so many times you want to go on a ride solo, that if you learn to reduce expectations, and attempt to take it easy, you can still have a great time. We also really tried to stay close to our kids sleep schedule and only one night did we stay out longer than an hour past bedtime. Sure that can make for a short night, but raising a kid is a marathon not a sprint, and we’ll have plenty of time to spoil and ruin her, and this was not one of those times.
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She’s never seen Cars but loves Lightning McQueen
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Her first time on Midway Mania and definitely not her last
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Race Day was finally here, and my wife was out the door by 4:45 AM, the race started at 6:15 and she had to get from the Anaheim Hilton to the race start so an early start was really necessary. Thankfully the kid and I slept in to 7 AM and were able to make it to the park to see her finish the race. Since we were not staying at the part we could, walk, drive or take a bus. We opted for option three since racers and their family got a free bus pass for the weekend, and it really was an easy way to get to the park. Sure lugging a kid, stroller and diaper bag on and off a bus plus navigating Downtown Disney which was part of the race course was a challenge, but worth it, to see my wife running. Run Disney does a pretty good job of alerting family of their racers position so we found a spot and waited. The wait was worth it and in no time flat mommy was running by. By 8 AM it was already 80 plus and humid and would hit 90 plus by mid-day, by far terrible running conditions and weather that made for a very warm weekend. According to my local friends it was the hottest weekend of the summer. I could have easily changed my shirt multiple times during the day.

Throughout the weekend we had a great time. Even though there were some 7,000 runners for the 10k and over 10,000 for the half marathon the next day, the parks were quite. We never had a stand-by line more than 45 minutes, and the longest fast pass wait I saw was 3 hours. Popular rides like Midway Mania, Indiana Jones and Radiator Springs Racers were easy waits. Unlike many other trips where by 11 am RSR fast pass was sold out, we had easy waits. This made for a really fun trip, since we could do what we wanted and at the pace we wanted too. Plus we had lots of friends visit and hangout with us every day, which always makes Disneyland that much more fun.

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Less then 2/10th of a mile to go and she’s still smiling
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I predict many long lines in my future to visit Minnie, Mickey and all of the Princesses
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Sadly Monday afternoon came quickly and it was time to go home. Again we were flying JetBlue to SFO, or so we thought. We arrived 2 hours before our flight to LGB to find that our flight was delayed. Dam it!! We were scheduled for a 5:25 PM flight and at present it was delayed to 7:30 PM, in fact every flight out of LGB was delayed from 3:30 PM on except for 2 on the board. For those of you not familiar with JetBlue, LGB, JFK and OAK are their main focus cities, so having that many flights delayed here was really a bummer. Between 3:30 and midnight there were four flights to the Bay Area and all delayed. UUGH. So at this point we had a choice sit and wait for our flight hopefully 7:30, fly to Sacramento at 6:30 also delayed or fly to Oakland delayed to 8:30. We choose door number two, even though it was to SAC it was scheduled to leave earlier and we just needed to get home, I had a 6 Am flight from OAK to Las Vegas the next morning. This is where the rental car came in handy, we didn’t have a car to get at SFO, and since we had arranged to get a rental car back home all we had to do was switch the rental car pickup. Plus that meant we didn’t have to avoid the Bay Bridge that was still closed and was scheduled to open Tuesday at 5 AM. To cut a long story short our flight to Sac left about 8 PM we arrived in Sac by 9:30 we were in our car by 10 and home by 11:15 PM. The flight to SFO left LGB at 10:30 PM so definitely a smart decision on our part. Ironically the main reason we flew JetBlue was because back in January we flew them down to Disneyland and were similarly delayed and received a $100 per person credit, that almost paid for our tickets this time, I think we paid $29 per person more out of pocket this time. On this trip, we got a credit unfortunately it was only $50 but hey that’s almost a one way ticket for next time.

Overall a very successful weekend jaunt to LA and Disneyland, we got a lot of family quality time, friend time and park time. Even with a few travel snafu’s life moves on and you just need to roll with it. We had a great time and look forward to the next trip, already planned for January, and yes the boss is running her first half marathon, and we’ll be there to root her on.

Categories: Airlines, Airport, Americana, Disney, JetBlue, Photography, Review, Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Traveling with kids, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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