Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can't Leave Disney Without My...



Welcome to those of you joining me from The Disney Chick and those of you just hopping aboard.  I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.



Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!  Or should I say WEDWay PeopleMover?  Or Tomorrowland Transit Authority??  Ever since our second family excursion to Walt Disney World in 1975, no Disney trip feels complete without our "private" tour through one of our favorite lands. Perhaps it is because this attraction offers such a wonderful, relaxing overview of this section of the park.  But more likely it is the visceral connection I have with its prototype; Ford's Magic Skyway from the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.  This WED Imagineered pavilion rode passengers past Audio-Animatronic figures in motorless convertible Ford Mustangs.  (The dinosaurs and cavemen featured were eerily similar to those in Spaceship Earth and Universe of Energy.  In fact, these actual dinosaurs were shipped to Disneyland in 1966, and remain in the Disneyland Railroad's Primeval World diorama to this day.)  The most endearing aspect of this attraction was Walt Disney's narration, and that is what I believe ties me to the PeopleMover.



Unlike the Magic Skyway, the PeopleMover looks not into the past, but solely into Disney's vision of the future; Tomorrowland, to be exact.

Space Mountain
Astro Orbiter
But, of course, there are some delightful diversions along the way.

Cinderella Castle
Tomorrowland Speedway
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

This attraction appealed to me as a teen, as a newlywed (kissing in the dark!), and as the mother of a spectrum child who would ride this over and over to decompress.  Now?  It's just another part of my Disney DNA.  I can't leave Disney without a spin on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover  The only thing missing is Walt's melodious voice.



Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail is Delightfully Disney

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop~   Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
2nd Stop~   Return to Disney
3rd Stop~   The Disney Chick
4th Stop~   DIStherapy   (you are here!)
Final Stop~   Delightfully Disney


Monday, May 28, 2012

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort




Welcome to those of you joining me from Heidi's Head and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.




Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is a "deluxe kind of moderate hotel"; or so said Cast Member Kristen as she checked me in on May 24th.  Because of its status as a Convention Center, the resort does have some "plusses" that you may not see at other moderately priced (rooms start at $159, depending on the season) resorts, such as:

Business Center
Club Level
Room Service
Niki Bryan Spa
La Vida Health Club
Casa de Belleza Hair Salon

Coronado Springs certainly has a comfortable, yet upscale vibe.  The Southwest theming, impeccably kept grounds and 22 acre Lago Dorado feel very authentic, and combined with the piped in latin music throughout the grounds, you may feel as though you are vacationing in Arizona or New Mexico. (Especially on a hot day!)



The check-in area is expansive, and the process seemed especially fluid.  (Perhaps to keep their business meeting goers content.)  Unless you have a bag on wheels, you may want to hop a ride with the bell staff to your room.  This resort es muy grande, though not unwieldy.  Guests rooms at this resort (1967 in total) are arranged into 3 sections:

Casitas




Ranchos



Cabanas



Despite the slight variations in exterior design, most standard rooms have 2 Queen beds (a few Kings can be had), a desk, a plasma TV, mini fridge and dresser, shower and toilet room,and an adjoining dressing area with a single sink.  (Most moderates have double sinks.)   There is a separate room divider here for dressing privacy.



Each of the sections has its own quiet pool, but the crowning glory of this resort is the "Dig Site"; a large archaeological-themed area, which includes The Lost City of Cibola Pool, the Jaguar Pool Slide, a volleyball court, the Iguana Arcade and Mayan themed playground.  Your family could easily spend an entire day here!








Food offerings are a bit sparse for this sized property, but never did I see a huge bottle-neck at any of these eateries:

Maya Grill
Table service; breakfast and dinner



Pepper Market
Food Court-style; breakfast, lunch and dinner






Cafe Rix
Quick grab and go; 6:30 a.m. until midnight

Rix Lounge
Specialty drinks and appetizers; 5 p.m. until 2 a.m.



Siesta's Pool Bar and Grill
Pool side counter service; 11 a. m. until 5 p.m.



Though this is certainly a sprawling property, we found transportation at the Coronado Springs Resort quite good.  Depending on the size of your luggage and/or the weather (we were in the middle of a tropical depression storm when we checked-in), you will need to make use of the Bell Services golf carts to get your gear to and from your room.  Beyond that, there are 4 bus stops placed strategically around the resort that will get you to the Theme Parks.



Would we stay at the Coronado Springs again?  Absolutamente!


Thank you for joining our Special Edition Magical Blogorail Loop.  If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.”


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ Fort Wilderness Cabins at The Magical Mouse Pad

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Disney Disloyal Ladies- Wordless Wednesday

Ladies less than royal...



Focused on the Magic

Turning 21 at the Disneyland Resort


I originally wrote this piece for the readers of Babes in Disneyland.  You might be wondering, whyever would I choose THIS topic for THOSE readers?  Because I assure you, in the wave of a wand, your babes will come of age.  When your Peter Pan is weaned at Neverland; when every first step, double-digits birthday celebration, communion and graduation has a Disney Park as its backdrop, there should be no other place to begin the "awfully big adventure" into manhood.  What follows is the pixie dust that will sail our 21 year old into everlasting youth.

-   Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen  The perfect birthday dinner for a 21 year old; Mardi Gras decoration, sweet jazz, juicy steaks, a candle in the Bananas Foster and his first Hurricane.  An instant party and the perfect place to flex his new wings!

-   Downtown Disney District  Ideal for people watching, (OK, girl watching), and soaking in the live outdoor entertainment until the wee hours.  Professional musicians abound, and there is dancing in the streets- literally.


-   Trader Sam's- Enchanted Tiki Bar  From the Kahlua Pork Flatbread to the HippopotoMai Tai, this homage to the Jungle Cruise, defunct Adventurer's Club in Orlando and Enchanted Tiki Room will satisfy our 21 year old's appetite for irreverent humor. We plan on spending a full evening here.  After a drink at the wild and crazy bar, we'll sit outside, eat, and listen to the band. The nearby outdoor fireplace will be the perfect place to hang out and make plans for the day ahead.  Very California cool.





-   Starbucks  Yes, it just happens to be opening in June along with its new home; Buena Vista Street.  Every college student in America seems to require one these caffeinated concoctions to begin their day.  Its location inside the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe will allow him to receive his attitude adjustment, and the rest of us to drink in the architecture of Carthay Circle Theater, while keeping an eye out for that Red Car Trolley.

Used with written permission of Babes in Disneyland
-   No matter the age, every member of my family is busting to get our first look at Cars Land.  We can't wait to fly with the Radiator Springs Racers, but I know his California Adventure highlight will be the World of Color.  He was 6 when he first saw Fantasmic!, and this water spectacular is, for him, a grown-up version of that experience.  As a music major, he's been listening to its score since it previewed in 2010, and witnessing it in person will be true starstuff.


-   This is the video game generation.  My 21 year old has broken in every new gaming system since the early 1990's, so we know in advance that we will ride Paradise Pier's Toy Story Mania! over and over again until he is satisfied with his score (nothing under 250,000 will do).  Secretly, I know he'll be rehearsing for our multiple interactions with Mr. Potato Head in the queue!



-   Mad T Party  ElectTRONica will be replaced this summer by an all-new entertainment celebration.  Located in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, this Alice in Wonderland/Tim Burton inspired party should offer just the right mix of music, special effects and specialty cocktails to turn my son and his friends into the "Lost Boys"- but just for one evening!

Disney Co.
My boy DID grow up, but with a song in his heart, and a childhood full of "lovely wonderful thoughts", he will hopefully never loose his inner child.  At the Happiest Place on Earth, our 21 year old will not be shutting the window on his youth; as Walt said, he will officially be an adult with a "child's approach to life".  What more could a Disney mother ask for??

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

R & R at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Pool & Ping-Pong
Fall out of bed and into Chef Mickey's.
Hop on the monorail for a quick ride to the Magic Kingdom:  easy-peasy.
From your room- the perfect way to end your day.



Focused on the Magic

The Avengers in the Disney Parks




As expected, The Avengers opened in the US and Canada this past weekend to record crowds; the $200.3 million dollars in ticket sales puts this blockbuster into the record books.   Earlier release dates across Asia, South America, Europe and New Zealand set similar records,  Since Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment Inc in 2009, this is good news for The Walt Disney Company stockholders!  But how will Disney proceed with plans to integrate these superheroes into its parks around the world?  Since the Avengers-wrapped monorail, or "Avengerail" or "Herorail", debuted on the Magic Kingdom express line this past March, speculators have been wondering where in the parks Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and others will pop up next.  I must be honest- I am not a fan.  Oh, I enjoy the Marvel warriors at Universal Studios Orlando mind you.  My two boys always looked forward to our trips to Islands of Adventure, and Marvel Super Hero Island, in particular.  (Who doesn't flip over The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man??)  BUT, I'll freely admit that I am uncomfortable with the premise of Iron Man coexisting with Winnie the Pooh.  As a mom without girls, I can appreciate the efforts to better balance the princess-heavy emphasis at the parks.  And yes, I know Disney will find a way to do it right (think Star Wars and Indiana Jones), but I guess I'm a bit of a purest.  Whether the next foray is a Marvel stunt show at Disneyland's Big Thunder Ranch, a "Stark Expo" takeover of Innoventions, or standard character meet and greets, I will be watching and wondering, "What would Walt think...?"

Disney Co.
Well, I'm sure he would endorse this- a SUPER Giveaway from Dina at The Dragyn's Lair.  Beginning May 8th, a group of "super bloggers" will combine our powers to offer readers an opportunity to win a $125 Disney Gift Card, and an amazing Avengers Prize Pack, which includes a Captain America pin, a Captain America key chain, Avengers stickers, a Nick Fury vinyl figure, an Iron Man poster, an Avengers t-shirt AND the soundtrack to the Avengers movie. Pow! 
The League of Awesome Bloggers... Assemble! 
  1. The Dragyn's Lair 
  2. DISTherapy
  3. Focused on the Magic
  4. Diz Thru Brown Eyes 
  5. Picturing Disney
  6. Living with the Magic
  7. Mouse Crafts
  8. Disney on Wheels
  9. Mouse Fan Diane
  10. Disney Donna Kay
  11. Pursuing the Magic
  12. Jackie's Magical Moments
To enter, please complete ALL the required entries below.  (You must do all to win!)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Best of luck to you, and best wishes to our fearless leader, Dana, for a wonderful, magical birthday!   The Avengers, a super giveaway, and Dana- all crowd pleasers...  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Mom's Disney Luxury



Welcome to those of you joining me from Heidi's Head and those of you just hopping aboard.  I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.


Guilt.  That's what it is.  How can I vacation with my family- treasured time- and carve out 20 or 30 minutes for just me?  Imagine how much we could accomplish in the parks in that amount of time.  Why that's one (FASTPASS) spin on Space Mountain right there!  It is only now, now that my kids have grown, that I can entertain the thought of doing something just for me when we're together at a Disney Park.  This month's topic is "Disney Indulgences for Mother's Day", so here goes...






Whether you can run or not, own a pair of sneakers or live only in flip-flops, you owe it to yourself to take a stroll, jog or sprint on my favorite path in the world (and World); this parcel of real estate is the approximately 1 mile trek from the Polynesian Resort to the Wedding Pavilion.  It borders the Seven Seas Lagoon, has spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom, and is surely the closest thing to running nirvana I have found.  I know what you're thinking- that's not indulgent.  But it is!  It meets all the criteria for such:


indulgence- noun
1. a pleasure, habit, etc, indulged in; extravagance


Although an extravagance purely of time, running is quite the pleasurable habit!  




While the Grand Floridian Villa construction will temporarily interfere with the usual path, there is plenty of room to ramble along, all the time with a view of the Most Magical Place on Earth.  Once the Villas are complete, I am hoping we can once again run from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian boat dock, most all in the site of the azure lagoon.




Disney Co.


Two weeks after Mother's Day, I'll be "testing" the loop along Lago Dorado at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. (I understand the pathway even extends into a genuine wetlands area.)  Who knows?  My indulgence might just have some competition!
I'd like to wish a very, very Happy Mother's Day to all those I now consider friends...



Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail is Disney Donna Kay.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Return to Disney 
2nd Stop ~ Heidi's Head
3rd Stop ~ DIStherapy        (You are here!)
4th Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay


Wordless Wednesday- Animation You Can Eat


World of Color
Dining Package at
Ariel's Grotto
(Sadly, June 14th, 2012 will mark the last day that Ariel's will participate.)

 



Focused on the Magic