RAINY DAY PARK TIPS +AN ANNOUNCEMENT!

RAINY DAY PARK TIPS +AN ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you’ve visited Florida during the summer, you know that it rains every. day. If you let it, the rain can really put a damper on your day. However, rainy days in WDW make for the best park days. If you plan to head to the parks during a rainy day, here are some tips that will help make it a smooth and fun day!

  • Do not leave the parks! Instead, head to the parks right before it’s supposed to rain. People usually rope drop during rainy days and leave right when it starts to pour, which clears out the parks! FP+ reservations get canceled last minute and wait times drop. Not to mention, the rain cools everything down, which makes the Florida summer heat a lot easier to bear.
  • Pack an extra pair of socks. Or, wear comfortable sandals (but not flip flops!). If you get caught in a rain storm, your feet are bound to get wet – and there’s nothing like walking around with wet socks and shoes! Bring a pair of socks to ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable.
  • Bring a gallon sized ziplock bag. I also mentioned this tip in my WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR PARK BAG?! post. Bringing a ziplock bag will keep your electronics and other valuable items dry during rain storm or even water rides.
  • Buy a poncho before heading to the parks. WDW ponchos are cute, but they are pretty expensive as far as ponchos go (about $12 for an adult size). Instead, head to Target or a drug store before your trip and purchase a poncho there. That will run you a fraction of the cost and work just as well!
  • Get ready to be flexible with your plans. Any rides, character meet-and-greets, nighttime spectaculars, and shows will probably be closed during storms. If you have a FP+ reservation for these rides, MDE will probably issue you a Multiple Experiences FP that can be used at any tier 2 attraction. Go in to a rainy day with an open mind that things might be canceled or might not go your way and it’ll be a lot easier to accept when it happens.
  • Wait out the rain in a queue or while eating a meal. The good thing about the rain in Florida is that it usually only lasts about an hour or rains on and off – it’s never a consistent down pour. Most people cram into the closest store or restroom area once it starts raining to wait it out. Instead, use this time wisely and head to an indoor ride or a restaurant. Waiting or sitting for 30-45 minutes will give the rain enough time to clear up so you can head to your next adventure!
  • Watch for the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade! This tip only works if you’re heading to Magic Kingdom on a rainy day. If it is too wet for the characters during the Festival of Fantasy parade or Move it, Shake it! dance party, you will catch a rare and interesting show! The RDCP is a cute and fun substitute, and you will catch a handful of characters as well.

There you have it – a few tips on rainy days in the park! Honestly, rainy days in WDW make for the most fun days of them all, so do not let the rain or storms scare you away! Instead, keep these tips in the back of your mind and you’ll have a blast.

Now, time for an announcement! Well, two announcements actually. First, we are starting a Youtube channel! We have already recorded a few great videos and can’t wait to share them with you all. Be on the lookout for the first video release!

Our second, and largest announcement, is that we are undergoing some new changes! To make our blog more personal and upgrade everyone’s experience, we are changing our name and heading to a new site! Starting next Sunday, our new blog site will be http://happilyeverclinkscale.com! 

If you can’t already tell from the URL, our new blog name will be Happily Ever Clinkscale. We feel that this new branding will allow us to connect to our readers more, and provide a more modern experience! You can head over to the site now, subscribe, and check it out! We will be announcing a fun giveaway on that page shortly for subscribers only, so make sure you’re subscribed to be entered!

Thanks for reading! We hope you’re as excited for the announcements as we are. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified of when we post next. See ya real soon 🙂

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE: A REVIEW

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE: A REVIEW

As part of our Disney Fairytale Wedding package, it was a requirement for the bride and groom to stay on property for four consecutive nights. This wasn’t a problem, as I thought it would be a great addition to our wedding and a fun mini honeymoon!

Dee and I have a plan to never stay at the same resort twice, until there are no more resorts on WDW property to stay at. We have all of the value resorts covered and most of the moderates, so we knew we’d be staying in a deluxe resort. The next step was to look at which resort was our dream resort, since it was our wedding weekend, and we landed on Animal Kingdom Lodge!

We booked a Deluxe Studio Suite, Savannah View at the Jambo House. We requested early check-in, since my bridesmaids and I would be getting to the resort around 10:00 that morning. Dee wouldn’t be showing up until after the wedding, as we planned to not see each other or stay together until then. He stayed at the Polynesian Resort for the first part of our stay to be closest to the ceremony space.

Finally, this is where my review begins. I am going to base my review on three categories: (1) Customer service, (2) Food options, and (3) Room/Resort Amenities.


Customer Service

In this category, they get a 10/10. If it were possible to go over ten, they absolutely would.

The outstanding customer service started the minute we pulled up to the resort. My car was beyond packed – I had my wedding dress and everything else we needed for the wedding, our suitcases, gifts for the entire wedding party, wine and champagne, snacks – literally a car full. The bell attendees at the front of the resort immediately unpacked my car. Since it was too early to officially be “checked in”, they kept my things safely in the baggage area, but allowed us to go in and out to grab what we needed until we had our room.

Next, during check-in, I was speaking with the receptionist about the size of the studio I had booked. I explained to her that the morning of my wedding, all of my bridesmaids would be with me plus my hair dresser and MUA as well as all of my family. I asked if that room was large enough to accommodate all of those people, and she assured me it would be fine. I didn’t find out until later that she upgraded my room from the studio to a Deluxe 1 Bedroom Suite, Savannah View. It was a DVC room, and let me tell you – it was able to accommodate all of those people. It was very spacious, laid out nicely, and was perfect for what we needed. We didn’t even find out about the upgrade until unlocking our room and walking inside. It was a wonderful surprise!

Another magical moment that was made for us was at the pool bar. The first day there, my bridesmaids and I frequented the pool bar – both while sitting at the pool, and as a stop before heading for my bachelorette party. My MOH, Megan, made sure everyone knew I was getting married the following day. The next day, after the ceremony, our friends and family came to our resort and suite to swim and hang out. We, of course, frequented the pool bar. The same bartender as the day before was working and he remembered our group. He ended up surprising Dee and I with a plate full of sweets as a congratulations. The plate included zebra domes (my favorite!), homemade chocolate candies, and truffles. It was such a cute surprise!

The great customer service doesn’t stop there. The cast members native to Africa were a joy to speak with – one even gave Dee and I a complimentary light saber and autographed pictures from Mickey and Minnie! The bartenders at the bar inside of the resort were also very engaging and a pleasure. One of the cast members that worked in The Mara recognized us daily and would be sure to acknowledge us. It truly felt like a community of people that enjoyed their job and loved creating magic. Everything that was done for us was done without expectation, and it was beyond magical.


Food Options

For the food category, I would score 9/10!

During our stay, we wanted a laid back honeymoon. We headed to MK for an evening, but the rest of our time was really spent at the resort. We ordered room service and ate (plenty of times) at The Mara, but that was it. We really wanted to try Boma, but we couldn’t score any reservations and the wait was always a bit too long.

However, room service and The Mara did not disappoint! Room service was pretty pricey, of course, but the food was always still hot and spectacular. The Mara offered plenty of different and unique options, which was a refreshing change from the rest of the resort food court options we have had in the past. The food was, once again, always hot and tasted fresh. We ate 2-3 meals there a day, during the whole stay, and I never felt bored of the food.

The reason why this category only got a 9/10, even though all the food we had was awesome, is because of how hard it was for us to get into Boma. I would have loved to had tried that option since I’ve heard such good things about them, but I’ll just have to make reservations and head there another time!


Room and Resort Amenities

I give this category a 10/10!

I’ve already touched on the room – it was beautiful. When first walking in, you see a full size kitchen equipped with a dish washer, oven/stove, full size refrigerator, and microwave. There was also plenty of counter space, a large sink, and the cupboards were filled with cups, plates, bowls, etc. The kitchen flows into the living room that included a dining table (for four), a couch that pulled out to a queen size bed, two end tables, a coffee table, and a large chair which pulled out to a twin sized bed. There were also two french doors that opened to the very large balcony which overlooked the Savannah.

There was then a hallway that lead to the bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom had a California king size bed, a chair, a desk, a large television, a dresser, and an armoire. It was very spacious, and also had two french doors which opened up to the balcony. The bathroom was separated into two areas – the area with a sink, a mirror, and a closer, then the area with the toilet and shower/Jacuzzi tub. There was also a closet with a washer and dryer in unit!

I am still mesmerized by the room. As if the upgrade wasn’t enough, I loved the balcony with the beautiful view. You really can’t beat waking up every morning to a giraffe 100 yards away from you and zebra all around. It was beyond breathtaking, and I don’t think I could have spent too much time out on that balcony!

As far as amenities, there were plenty. Our favorite was the pool, which was large and had a pool bar and a water slide. It was surrounded by tropical greenery that gave it an exotic view. There were also fire pits where they had fires in the evenings, and they offered plenty of other activities during the day. Of course, the best amenity was the Savannah itself, which included plenty of fun and exotic animals to see!


To wrap it up, this resort is beyond a dream. If you’re looking for a staycation at WDW – a resort that you don’t have to leave – this is it. Never did I get bored just sitting at the resort. There is plenty to do, and so much to explore, that a week there just at the resort would be an event in itself.

I could honestly go on and on about this resort, but I’ll end it here. Below are some pictures of our room, our view, and the resort. Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next. See ya real soon 🙂

Our Room

The Resort

Our View

OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING!

OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING!

After over two years of waiting, our day was FINALLY here! Wedding weekend was beyond what I imagined it would be. But, today we’re here JUST to talk about our wedding, which was nothing short of beautiful. Here’s the story of our fairytale!

The morning of the wedding, we woke up on two different sides of WDW resort. My bridesmaids and I all stayed in our honeymoon suite, at Animal Kingdom Lodge. My husband and his groomsmen, however, stayed at the Polynesian – which was where our ceremony was taking place. This is where the fairytale begins…

The Ceremony

6:30 a.m.: Me, Megan, and Emily wake up. We order room service, change into our robes, make some coffee, and pop a bottle of champagne for mimosas. At around 7:00, my hairdresser and makeup artist arrive and we start getting ready for the day.

9:30 a.m.: We’re finally done getting ready, and start taking “getting ready” photos. Surrounded by my family, I am on cloud nine. Most brides talk about how nervous they are the day of their wedding, but I was just so ready to walk down that aisle and see my groom!

10:30 a.m.: By this time, I’m completely freaking out. You’d think I was worried about getting married in less than an hour, but no – I was terrified to walk through the lobby in my dress. I’m beyond an introvert, so people staring at me while I walk by makes me very uncomfortable and I knew the white, sparkly dress I was wearing would attract eyes from all around. I walked through that lobby with my head completely down, just thinking about what was to come.

10:45 a.m.: The limo drops us off at the Poly. We walk in and we are greeted by our wedding coordinator. She shows us our bouquets, and lets us know of a few minor issues that needed solved before we could walk down the aisle. No big deal, we sat in the lobby and waited. This waiting, though, took about 45 minutes and this is where my anxiety fully set in. Again, I don’t think I was nervous about getting married, but the waiting was what was getting to me. My legs wouldn’t stop shaking, and my heart was pounding. Every minute felt like an eternity!

11:20 a.m.: Everything was situated and it was finally time to walk down the aisle. As we walked to the ceremony space, I heard the violinist and saw the backs of the heads of all of our guests. My anxiety went away, and was replaced with a swarm of butterflies. It was finally time! One of my favorite moments of the day was at this time, when I saw my dad standing off to the side, waiting for me with the biggest smile on his face. I swore I wasn’t going to cry before the wedding, but I immediately started crying. Just thinking about this simple but wholesome moment puts a smile on my face, and I’m so sad I don’t have a picture to capture that moment.

11:30(ish) a.m.: The ceremony began. All of the bridesmaids walked out one by one, and eventually there was no one left besides my dad and I. By this point, my shoes were killing me (as beautiful as they were), and I couldn’t walk very fast. But then, I saw Dee. With tears in his eyes (and all over his face), he was smiling and there at the end of the aisle. It was the moment I had been waiting for, for over two years. My tears immediately went away, and I couldn’t help but laugh and smile. This is the moment it really hit me. Also during this time, because I am the most socially awkward person alive, I literally said the word “hey” to Daron when stopping with my dad at the end of the aisle. This is still something he laughs at me about to this day.

11:50 a.m.: The ceremony was over, and we walked back up the aisle to cheers and the violinist playing in the background. It was now time to head over to take photos, do the champagne toasts, cut the cake, and have our first dance. The first thing I did, though, was immediately take off my shoes. I had a pair of sandals in my purse to throw on in case of this exact situation, but I left my purse in the limo. So, I spent the rest of the ceremony bare foot. Oh well, lol.

11:55 a.m.: The champagne toasts begin. First, Megan gave a speech that had me beyond tears. Megan is not too much of a sentimental person, but man, her speech killed it. Then followed Emily, who’s speech had me in tears but also cracking up. Of course, she had to throw in how much we hated each other when we first met – but that’s how the best friendships start right? Last was Dee’s brother, Anthony, who was told (by my own husband) that he wouldn’t have to give a speech at the ceremony. He didn’t find out until we were on our way to the ceremony itself that Dee was wrong and that he would, in fact, be giving a speech. So, he “wung it” and it was great.

12:15 p.m.: We cut our cake and our guests enjoyed a slice. Dee tried to feed me only icing, which is only the worst part of the cake itself. Dee also tried to make it as messy as possible, but I made sure that didn’t happen!

12:20 p.m.: While our guests were enjoying their cake, they also got to enjoy our first dance. We asked our violinist [prior to the ceremony] to play Perfect by Ed Sheeran, and it was just that – perfect. Dee made fun of me just about the entire dance for not having shoes on and for saying “hey” at the end of the aisle, but I mean I really didn’t expect anything else.

12:25 p.m.: It was time for pictures! A few dramatic shots of Dee and I, followed by group pictures of the families, the bridal party, etc. Before the pictures, though, we had our “bubble exit” from the ceremony space to where we would be taking the pictures, which was fun! Are you really at Disney World if you don’t walk through a cloud of bubbles?

12:45 p.m.: We took just a few more pictures on the beach, and it was time to head back to the lobby. We had a few drinks, then all parted ways to rest, hang by the pool, and get ready before the dinner show/reception in the evening.

1:00 p.m.: The limo picked up the bridal party and took “the long way” back to AK. We had some champagne, listened to some music, and really took a step back to celebrate and enjoy everyone’s company. The limo ride was about an hour, and it was definitely a highlight of the day!

Now, you might be looking at the times in the timeline thinking “wow, all of that in an hour?” Well, you weren’t the only one thinking that – so were we. You see, you pay for two hours time to have all of these experiences. However, due to a few situations out of our control, our ceremony time was cut in half. It felt very rushed, family members missed certain events happening, and we really didn’t have a moment to step back and take it all in – but it was still beautiful. It is absolutely a story to tell, and I am so grateful to have even had the chance to get married in Disney World and have such a magical experience.

The Dinner 

For our dinner/reception, we chose to head back to the Polynesian and watch The Spirit of Aloha dinner show. All of our bridal party and guests, about 30 of us, made reservations for the show when booking the wedding. The dinner show is a base ticket that you are supposed to purchase ahead of time. However, since we were with the wedding, they just “reserved” our space and we didn’t have to pay until before the show itself. So, we showed up about an hour early and waited in a painfully long line to purchase each ticket.

The dinner show was nothing short of amazing. This was my second experience at the show itself, and neither time did it disappoint. Each adult paid about $75 for their ticket, which included an all-you-can-eat family style meal, unlimited beer and wine, tax, and gratuity. Combine all of that with an amazing show, and it’s absolutely one of the best deals you’ll find in Disney.

The cast members at the show went out of their way to really make the night special for us as well. They gave me a lei made of beautiful live flowers, and dee got a seashell necklace that he fell in love with. Throughout the show, they had different times where our guests and I were invited up (along with other guests at the show) to dance and become included in the show itself. They even called Dee up to dance on stage, competing with some other guy in the audience! Knowing how shy Dee is, I still can’t believe he got up there – but he did, and he forsure gave everyone a show! Lol

To end the night, a few members of the bridal party as well as Dee and myself stayed after the dinner show to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company on the beach. It was the perfect end to a long, special day!

Looking back, I think about the saying that I believe everyone told me to expect – Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This proved to be true, but it still didn’t take away from the fact that it was our special day. Of course, there are things that we wish we could have changed about the day – but that’s with everything, right? I can’t help but look back on the day and smile, knowing that I got to marry my best friend surrounded but the people I love in the happiest place on earth.

Well, there you have it – our Disney Fairytale Wedding! I know this was super basic, but I didn’t want to go into great detail and make a never ending post. However, be on the lookout for upcoming posts and major announcements, where you’ll get to hear all of the magical details!

Thanks for reading! Below are some pictures that were shot by my family and friends, as well as a few we got in our sneak peak book from Disney! We should be getting more photos soon, and we are also headed to the Magic Kingdom to do a wedding photo shoot there – so be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages so you can see all of the beautiful pics when we receive them! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next! See ya real soon 🙂

7 THINGS NO ONE WILL TELL YOU BEFORE HEADING TO WDW!

7 THINGS NO ONE WILL TELL YOU BEFORE HEADING TO WDW!

Happy Sunday! Before starting this post, I want to apologize that I’ve been gone for so long! I had my bachelorette party, then I was sick with walking pnemonia, then I was too busy getting things ready for the wedding, then it was wedding weekend! I have some exciting posts coming up to talk all about our stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge and our Disney Fairytale Wedding! Be sure to stay tuned 🙂


There is so much that goes into planning a Disney vacation – from dates and airfare to dining reservations and Fastpass+, the list goes on and on. These days it’s really hard to just head to your vacation without all of the preplanning and details. However, there are some important details that people won’t tell you while you’re planning that might really come in handy! Here are seven things that I think you must know before heading to your WDW vacation:

  1. You now have to pay for parking at your Disney resort. Back in early 2018, WDW announced that guests would now be charged a nightly fee for overnight parking at resorts. The prices vary based on which category resort you are staying ($13/night for Value, $19/night Moderate, and $24/night Deluxe) and will be charged at the end of your stay. Prior to this, parking at a Disney resort overnight was included in your stay. So, if you’re renting a car or driving to the resort for your stay, be prepared to pay those fees when checking out!
  2. The Disney rash is a real thing! Disney World in it’s entirety is about twice the size of Manhattan, or 40 square miles. On an average park day, you can expect to walk anywhere from 10-15 miles! This type of exercise probably isn’t worked into your daily life, which can lead to the dreaded Disney rash. Also known as “golfer’s rash”, the Disney rash causes irritation to the blood vessels in your lower leg. This is caused by walking an extended period of time in heat and humidity. To avoid this, make sure you’re getting those steps in and getting your body ready before you head to your vacation!
  3. Everything will be a line. Literally, everything. From waiting for busses, to baggage check and security, to scanning your tickets to get in the park and everything after that – there will always be a line. You might get lucky and be able to  walk right on an attraction, but those experiences are few and far in between. Be prepared for the lines and you will be a lot less frustrated!
  4. Not everyone is in a happy and magical mood. You’ll see kids crying, parents arguing, elders annoyed – you’ll probably even bicker with your loved ones yourself. The extreme temperatures, long park days, and crowds of people are enough to put anyone on edge. To avoid arguments work resort breaks into the hot days, expect that things won’t always go to plan, and understand that you will have to wait 10 minutes to get your Dole Whip.
  5. Your vacation will not be perfect, no matter how much you plan! Things happen, and things will go wrong. Make the best of anything that is thrown your way on your vacation and it will be much more enjoyable! Remember, over planning is your enemy! Make. Time. For. Mid. Day. Breaks!
  6. Being late doesn’t always mean you’re “late”. Your Fastpass+ might only be an hour window, but you will have a grace period of about 15 minutes after the window closes to still make that reservation! Same goes for dining reservations – there is usually about a half hour grace period. Be sure to ask cast members nicely and don’t go in expecting anything, but they will usually work with you happily!
  7. It’s going to be hot. Pretty much no matter when you come to WDW – it will be hot. You might be lucky and find yourself here during the whole two weeks of “winter” temperatures [mid 50’s-60’s], but chances are – it’ll be hot. Bring layers, a ton of water, sunscreen, fans, even an umbrella. Be prepared!

I cannot stress enough that your magical Disney vacation will not go to plan. Things will go wrong, but what’s most important is being able to run with those challenges! Keep these seven tips in mind, though, and it’ll make for a much smoother vacation 🙂

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified of any new posts. We have some super exciting wedding content coming up that you won’t want to miss! See ya real soon 🙂

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART III

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART III

Welcome back to part three of this series! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out parts one and two herePLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART I and PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART II.

As of today, our wedding is only 26 short days away. All of the fine details have been ironed out, final payments have been made, and now we are just enjoying our last few weeks being engaged!

But anyway, let’s move on to part three of this series. In part two, I promised this post would be all about the period between submitting our Banquet Event Order and making our final payment. That time has past, and there’s really not much to report!

What I have loved most about planning a wedding through Disney is that they take care of all of the little details. Other than making a few choices discussed in part two, finding an officiant, hair and makeup artists, and getting our dress and tux – there really hasn’t been much for us to do!

After submitting our BEO, really all there was to do was wait until the final payment was made. During this time, our guests were able to make their hotel accommodations in our room block. My fiance and I had to complete a form for our Disney photographer listing our photography styles, who was in our bridal party, and a few other details. And that was pretty much it.

Once the final payment was made, I had to once again look over the BEO to make sure everything looked good. Once it was finalized and all payments had been approved, we moved into the final stage – waiting for the big day!

The week final payments were made, my fiance and I got a third surprise package from Disney in the mail. The package was once again in the same beautiful Cinderella blue packaging, but enclosed were handkerchiefs for my groom and I. There were cards enclosed as well, giving us several ideas on how we could incorporate them into our special day! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of this package, but it was truly just as beautiful as the last two.

Now, we simply wait. Our coordinator through DFTW, Steffane, is now finalizing all of the details to make sure everything is ready for our big day. The next step will be the wedding and we are so beyond excited for that day to come – all we have to do now is show up!

That brings us to the end of Part III of our Disney Fairytale Wedding series! Sorry there wasn’t much detail, but there really wasn’t much to report! Part IIII will be all about our big day, so definitely be on the look out!

Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying this series 🙂 We are so excited for our special day, and cannot wait to share it with all of our. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next! Thanks for reading, see ya real soon!

2019 GIANT EASTER EGG DISPLAY AT THE GRAND FLORIDIAN!

2019 GIANT EASTER EGG DISPLAY AT THE GRAND FLORIDIAN!

Every year, Disney pastry chefs create chocolate Easter eggs to put on display at the Grand Floridian. This year was my first year to see them in person, and they were absolutely a sight to see!

The eggs were put on display April 1st, and will remain for guest enjoyment until April 28. There are a total of 40 chocolate eggs with details made of fondant, royal icing, sugar sculptures, and more. A sign at the GF describes the eggs to be 16 – 20 inches tall and weigh 9 – 12 pounds. An entire team is dedicated toward the eggs, and production takes about three weeks!

The detail to these eggs are immaculate, and were just as memorizing as the Grand Floridian’s gingerbread house display. I was in awe at how much little detail was put into these eggs. It’s so hard to believe they are made out of chocolate and other edible delights! Below are some of our favorites from the display.

The Giant Easter Egg Display is definitely a can’t miss for the Easter season if you’re on property. Other Easter offerings today included a special Easter parade in the Magic Kingdom, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny at MK, an Easter egg hunt at EPCOT, Easter brunch, religious services, and special merchandise.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to be notified of when we post next. Happy Easter, we’ll see ya real soon 🙂

7 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY IN WDW!

7 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY IN WDW!

A trip to Disney World is pretty expensive. Between room rates, ticket prices, dining, and merchandise the costs add up! Today, I am going to list a few ways you can save money on your next trip to WDW!

  1. Never book a rack rate room. Disney almost always has room discounts ranging from 10%-30% a night depending on the resort. Do your research and explore different resorts and I’m sure you’ll find something lesser in price than rack rate!
  2. Don’t bring or rent a car. Disney offers complimentary transportation to and from the airport to your resort, and back and forth from all theme parks. Bringing your own vehicle might be convenient, but you’ll pay nightly for parking at resorts, and daily for parking at theme parks. If you have to leave property, and Uber will still be much cheaper!
  3. Stock up on snacks and bottled water. Bottles of water are ridiculously expensive in the parks, as are the snacks. Bring your own from home, or use Postmates to get some delivered to your hotel. Pack them in your park bag daily!
  4. Look into getting an Annual Pass. Annual Passes are available to anyone, and there are different levels. Calculate how many days worth of tickets you’d be buying and the price, then compare to a pass. In some cases, it’s cheaper to get the AP – which comes with perks. You’ll get special discounts and rates on resort rooms, dining, and merchandise!
  5. Look into getting a Disney Visa. Chase bank offers Disney Visa debit cards for bank members and credit cards. Chase Visa cardmembers also get special perks including dining and merchandise discounts and also have special photo-ops with characters!
  6. Buy souvenirs ahead of time. This works really just for kids, because we all know that they want everything. Head to Target, Amazon, Walmart, etc. and purchase Disney brand merchandise. When your child is dying for a toy, pull out one of the pre-bought souvenirs and give it to them. It’ll be much cheaper, and make the whole family happy!
  7. Skip adding on Park-HopperI will preach this until I cannot preach it anymore. Especially if you are staying multiple days, the Park Hopper is not worth it! A vacation is supposed to be relaxing, and although it’s hard to do on a WDW vacation, park hopping is just too much in one day. Take your time in the parks one day at a time, head back to the resort mid-day for a nap or to lounge around the pool, head back to that same park. You’ll be much more well rested at the end of your vacation!

And there you have it – 7 ways to save money on your next vacation to WDW! Thanks for reading 🙂 Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next. See ya real soon!

MY FAVORITE PARK IN DISNEY WORLD!

MY FAVORITE PARK IN DISNEY WORLD!

One question I’m always asked when helping others plan their Disney World vacations, or just discussing WDW in general, is “What’s your favorite park?”. This is always hard for me to answer, because I love all of the parks, but I do have my favorites!

To start, I never include Magic Kingdom when considering which park is my favorite. Since MK is the flagship park of WDW, of course it takes the cake. If you only have one day on property, I would suggest spending the day in entirety there. Because of this, I literally take it out of consideration because, duh, it’s a given! So when answering this question, I give that mini spiel then consider the remaining parks to decide which is my “favorite”.

After MK, Disney World has three main parks – EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Aside from that, there are also two water parks on property (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) as well as a dining and shopping area, Disney Springs. DS is literally my most favorite place to spend an evening on property, but since it isn’t a “park”, I take that [as well as the water parks] out of the equation.

That leaves EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Honestly, it’s a hard tie for me between two of the three and whichever I consider my “favorite” depends on my mood. Those two parks are…

EPCOT. When I was younger, I remember EPCOT being my least favorite park on property. It had no appeal to me, and was honestly quite boring. Now that I’m older [and don’t have kids of my own], this park is one in which I find myself wanting to go to quite often. Between the festivals, the ability to drink and snack around the world, and the opportunity to immerse myself in several different cultures, I thoroughly enjoy this park. All Disney parks are for kids of all ages, but I feel that this one more than the other’s is more enjoyable and draws more attention from an adult crowd! If I’m in the mood for a drink or for some exciting snacks, this is the park I head to.

Hollywood Studios. To me, this is just such a fun and exciting park. Right now, it doesn’t appeal too much to too many people due to the lack of attractions and it’s size, but that soon will change when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. The draw for me to this park, and the reason why it’s considered my favorite is really due to the atmosphere. I love the feeling of being in “old” Hollywood. The shows, attractions, and street performers are all some of my favorite things on all of property! Even before Toy Story Land opened, this was a park I had to go to every visit to WDW. So, if I’m in the mood for a good time filled with entertainment and thrill, I head to HS!

As I mentioned above, Disney Springs is an honorable mention. This is a great place for a date night and for people to head when they want something that is on property but doesn’t scream Disney. DS has a whole different vibe of it’s own, and it’s really a great place to head with your significant other to eat, grab a drink, do some shopping, be entertained and have some fun. From the AMC movie theater to Splitsville bowling alley to the Characters in Flight hot air balloon ride and so much more, it really is a great place for a date night!

And there you have it! My favorite (well, two favorites!) Disney World park! Which park, aside from Magic Kingdom is your favorite? Leave a comment below to let me know!

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EPCOT FESTIVALS: RANKED BEST TO WORST

EPCOT FESTIVALS: RANKED BEST TO WORST

If you’re a fan of Disney World, you know all about the EPCOT festivals. Personally, one of my favorite things about WDW are the festivals at EPCOT. However, it seems like there is always a festival going on! One ends, and other begins. Although I think thats a bit much, all of the festivals are different in their own ways which make them each their own.

I thought it might be fun to dive deeper into the four festivals and rank them in order of best to worst. To rank them, I am going to take three things into consideration: (1) The time of year the festival is offered, (2) The offerings/unique things to do at the festival, and (3) My own personal interest. I would like to note that these are all solely based on my own personal opinion and your opinion might differ – and that’s okay!

I am going to rank them in order from best to worst. I will say that none of the four are bad, and I enjoy every single one! However, some festivals outshine others. Let’s get started!


1. EPCOT’S International Festival of the Holidays. 

This past holiday season was the first time I got to experience this festival and I was blown away. Literally, last year if you would have asked me which festival was my favorite, I would have answered Flower and Garden without a doubt. As we can see now, that opinion has changed drastically! Here are some reasons why this festival is the “best” on my list based on the three characteristics I outlined above.

  • Time of year. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so it is only right that I love the time of year this festival is offered. From the decor, to the theming, to just the overall vibe – it absolutely draws me in. The only downfall to this festival when considering the time of year is that if you go to the festival between the week of Christmas to the week after New Years – it is crazy packed.
  • Unique offerings. One of my favorite things at this festival ended up being the Candlelight Processional. If you are struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, watch this show (which is free with park admission!) and that will change quickly. Other than that, each country has story tellers to tell how their country celebrates the winter holidays, there are carolers, there are unique food and wine offerings – I could go on and on. Check out our excerpt to last year’s festival to learn more in this blog: HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS IN WDW!
  • Personal interest. I already mentioned this above, but I am all about winter holiday’s. Given that there is a whole festival dedicated toward celebrating these holidays around the world? I was living.

2. EPCOT’S Flower and Garden Festival 

It was actually really hard to choose whether the #2 spot would be Flower and Garden or Food and Wine – they both hold a special place in my heart! There are three specific reasons why Flower and Garden took second place: It was the first EPCOT festival I had ever experienced, my fiancé and I visited the festival every year we have been dating, and it completely transforms the park with beauty! However, let’s dive in to some specifics with the three characteristics I mentioned above:

  • Time of year. When I wasn’t a local, coming to visit WDW in May was a guarantee every year. It isn’t too crowded and the weather is perfect. Being that Flower and Garden starts in March and runs through May, the festival has the luck of those two factors. Other than that, this festival happens in the midst of Spring, and seeing the vibrant flowers all around you, completely transforming the park, makes visiting this festival in EPCOT a must-do experience.
  • Unique offerings. Aside from the beautiful floral details literally everywhere, there are plenty of things to do and see at this festival. From admiring the topiaries to attending a concert as part of the Garden Rocks concert series, to venturing through a butterfly garden – the things that are available to do at this festival are never ending. This was another reason why this festival beat out Food and Wine for the number 2 spot – there is so much more to do! Unfortunately, I have yet to make a blog post about this festival, but it’s coming!
  • Personal interest. Honestly, the beauty of this festival encompasses me every time I experience it. The flower details and topiaries alone are enough to take your breath away! Especially when I’d come to visit from Ohio, it was just a beautiful sight to see.

3. EPCOT’S Food and Wine Festival

Although this is at the #3 spot, I absolutely LOVE this festival. It’s an entire festival dedicated to literal food and wine, and I’m Italian – what isn’t there to love!? However, this festival fell down to this spot based on the combination of unique offerings based on my personal preference. The aesthetic and decor that goes above and beyond for the International Festival of the Holidays and Flower and Garden also couldn’t be beat by this festival. However, Food and Wine still holds a very special place in my heart! Let’s break it down into the three main characteristics:

  • Time of year. This is another festival where the time of year makes it that much more enjoyable. The festival usually starts in August and runs through mid-November. A vast majority of this festival runs through another one of the slower seasons in WDW. This might change, however, considering Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens August 29 and I am sure this will bring heavy crowds!
  • Unique offerings. Last year, there were plenty of things offered at this festival including Eat to the Beat concerts, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and more. I outlined the entire festival in a guide that can be found here: A GUIDE TO EPCOT’S INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL 2018. There are a ton of things to be done at this festival, all unique to the theme, but they are almost all things that can be done at places outside of the festival.
  • Personal interest. As I mentioned above – I’m Italian. Food and wine are two things that are very big in my family and I grew up with. It’s how you bond with friends, how you show love for your family, it was a huge part of our family culture. So, of course I’m always elated over an entire festival dedicated to those things! Like I mentioned, based on this sole reason itself, this festival will always hold a special place in my heart!

4. EPCOT’S Festival of the Art’s 

This year was also the first time I got to experience this festival. This festival is the newest offering of the four, and is obviously based all around the arts. I had fun, and there were a lot of unique offerings, however I really wasn’t as impressed as I am when I attend any of the other festivals! Let’s look at the characteristics outlined below:

  • Time of year. This festival happens basically right after International Festival of the Holiday’s ends. It’s colder in Florida, which makes it a lot more bearable to attend during the day, but it is also Disney’s racing season. Both time I attended this festival, it was packed with people who raced in one of the marathons! Also, unlike the top three festivals, this particular festival doesn’t happen in a time that necessarily reminds you of the arts – but when would that even be? In my opinion, it just seems like this was a festival Disney came up with to fill in some space during the year where there wasn’t a festival.
  • Unique offerings. There were some pretty cool offerings during this festival that we loved. Guests were able to watch Broadway-style performances, live painting performances, paint/graffiti part of a wall as part of an entire picture, purchase art, see living statues, and more. The theming was absolutely there and there was plenty of things to do, but nothing was offered, in my opinion, that was a can’t miss experience.
  • Personal interest.love art exhibits and museums. I would take heading to a museum or art exhibit any day over heading to a festival or party. However, this festival seemed more like artists selling their art and Disney selling their products than celebrating art itself. I was hoping to see a lot more art showcases than art on sale, and I just didn’t really have those experiences.

And there you have it, EPCOT’s festivals ranked best to worst! I will say, as I think I’ve said in this blog now several times, I do absolutely love all of these festivals. EPCOT is my favorite park, so of course I get very excited when there are different things to experience!

Thanks for reading! Do you agree with my rankings? How would you rank the festivals? Let me know in the comments below! Also, be sure to subscribe to the blog so you’re notified when I post next. Have a great week, see ya real soon 🙂

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART II

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART II

Welcome back to part two of this series! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out part 1 of Planning Our Disney Fairytale Wedding here: PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART I! I cannot believe our wedding is 68 short days away! Time is seriously flying by. My bridal shower is this upcoming Saturday, I have all of my hair, makeup, nail, etc appointments booked for the big day, and now we are just trying to get all of the small things together!

But anyway, you’re here to read about the next steps we’ve taken toward planning our dream wedding. A lot has happened within the month that I’ve written the first part of this series! We are now into planning all of the fine details and have had a few magical surprises along the way.


Part II: Planning our Fairytale Wedding 

Transitioning from Joe (sales representative) to our Coordinating Team

In the last blog, you saw that I worked hand-in-hand with Joe De Matei to learn more about the package we chose for our wedding as well as book our special day. After the Letter of Agreement was signed on all ends and completed, Joe introduced us to our new coordinating team. We were assigned an overall wedding coordinator as well as a room specialist and a photography specialist, which I will discuss in further detail down below.

The experience we had while working with Joe was exceptional. He was readily available whenever needed to answer any questions we had during the booking process. As his final gesture after introducing us to our team, we received a surprise package from him in the mail! In beautiful packaging, it included a card of well wishes, a Prince Charming coin charm, a Cinderella shoe bag, and a few cards with the items for ideas on how to incorporate the items into our special day.

Although I am positive this is something all sales rep’s send their couples after introducing them to their coordinating team, it was a surprise that brought me to tears of joy! Some pictures of the package can be found below 🙂


The Planning Kit

A few days after Joe introduced us to our coordinating team, we received an e-mail from our Wedding Coordinator, Steffane Christian. She briefly introduced herself, and then outlined the next several steps we would be taking leading up to our big day. The first few steps were to review the planning resources she attached, and then complete a planning kit.

This planning kit was no joke! It is a 22 page kit which basically outlines in fine detail every detail for you to specify for your big day. You start by putting in your personal information (both the bride and groom), and from there outline every little detail. The details we had to choose and specify for our big day included:

  • Floral. There were several bouquet and boutonniere pairings for us to choose from. We were also able to choose the flower colors within the style that we chose! Those two things were included in the package already, and after choosing those we were given the option to choose additional add-on floral.
    • The add on’s included bridesmaids bouquets, boutonniere’s for the bridal party and father of the bride and groom, corsages for the mother of the bride and groom, and floral decorations for the ceremony space. For each additional add-on, there were several options and styles to choose from ranging in price.
  • Enhancements. These items are all things that are not included in the base price of the package. Items that you could add on for the ceremony include flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillows, a sand ceremony set, charms for bouquets, a unity candle set, and more.
  • Photography. As I mentioned in part 1, two hours worth of photography is included in the package. However, couples have the option of adding on additional hours of photography as well as additional albums and prints. Couples also have the option of adding an in-park or additional resort photo shoot, which can be chosen on this page as well.
  • Cake. There were about five different cake styles that we were able to choose from, with about 5 more “enhanced” cakes that we could also choose with an up charge. After choosing the style we wanted, we were able to choose the cake flavor and filling. There were a ton of options for this part and it was definitely hard to choose!
  • Beverages. With the package, two bottles of champagne are included. We had the option here to add on additional bottles of champagne, sparking cider for underage guests, and treats to give out as favors.
  • Transportation. A four-hour, 8 passenger limousine is included in our package for transportation to and from the ceremony space. At this part in the kit, we had to outline the first two stops and last two stops for the limo driver. We also had the option of upgrading our limousine to Cinderella’s Coach or a variety of other style vehicles.
  • Music and Entertainment. This was probably my favorite part of the entire kit. Here, we were able to outline every song choice we wanted for our ceremony including the wedding party entrance, the bride’s entrance, the sand ceremony song, the recessional, the cake cutting ceremony, and the first dance.
    • They do provide you with a list of songs to choose from. However, at no additional cost you are able to personally request any song as long as you provide your coordinator with the sheet music!
    • In your package, a violinist is included. In this section, however, you can choose to upgrade or add on additional musicians or even pay to have characters come to the ceremony.

I would say that this planning kit was really the only downfall of planning a Disney wedding, if you could even call it that. Part of a traditional wedding planning experience is to taste test cake, go to a florist and see the bouquets and flowers firsthand to design your wedding floral, and meet with a photographer in person. However, the planning kit does have photo’s of everything, but it’s all digital. I found myself quite often thinking “I wish I could see this/try this in person”.

On the other hand, this planning kit outlined literally everything and made all of the details a one-stop-shop. It was very simple to navigate and really takes the stress away from having to go to different vendors to plan it all yourself.

I did have to speak with Steffane a few times while going through the planning kit with various questions. We exchanged emails but also spoke over the phone. She was very informative and helpful, and always answered emails promptly.

After submitting the planning kit to Steffane, she informed us that she received it and would review it over the next several days. We were then told that we would be expecting a Banquet Event Order – Rough Draft in our email within the next two weeks!


Room Blocks and Photography

Aside from our wedding coordinator, our room specialist and photography specialist both reached out to us around the same time Steffane did.

  • Photography Specialist – Karen Chandler. Karen’s email started just like Steffane’s did, introducing herself and telling us what her role in our wedding would be. Basically, she provided us with a website where we could go see all of the Disney Wedding photographer’s personal albums. She told us to check all of them out, as they all have different styles, and recommended we choose a “top three” that fit our aesthetic. Karen told us to put their names in the Planning Kit (which we did) to let our coordinator know who we would prefer. We were informed that there was no guarantee we would be assigned one of the three we chose, but that they would try their best to accommodate!
  • Room Specialist – Janet Moore. Janet started her email introducing herself like the other members of her team did. She then gave us a timeline regarding the room block including when she recommended people book by, when the block would close, how many nights we can reduce out of the total we reserved, and more. Janet also provided me with a link to share with my guests so they can book rooms directly in the block. Lastly, we were provided with our own unique link to track our guests bookings and other additional information.

I really didn’t have to reach out to Karen during this stage in the process, as it was all self explanatory. However, I did have a few questions for Janet and she was very prompt in returning my call as well as extremely kind and easy to work with. She has been in this business for over 20 years and you can tell she still loves what she does!


Banquet Event Order

It took less than a week from the time I sent the completed planning kit to Steffane for her to send the first draft of our Banquet Event Order. This is basically a detailed receipt of all of the choices we made as well as any additional add-on’s we chose. She instructed us to print the BEO out and review it. If we have any changes, we simply mark them on the page and initial at the bottom of the page to confirm.

With the BEO, she gave us our estimated budget and the due-date. Steffane instructed us to send in the edited and complete BEO with the remaining balance no later than one month before our wedding so she can finalize all of the details.

About a week after sending the BEO, my fiance and I got another surprise package from Disney Fairytale Weddings in the mail, this time from Steffane! This package was in the same beautiful packaging as the other, and included a well wishes card, a Pixie Dust charm for my bouquet, and a set of Prince Charming collar stays/tie holders for Daron. They are absolutely beautiful, and of course brought tears to my eyes – again! Below are some pictures of this lovely package 🙂


And, that brings us to the end of Part II of our Disney Fairytale Wedding series! Part III in our series will be all about the time period between submitting our BEO and final payment to our big day, so be on the look-out!

Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying this series! We are so excited for our special day, adn cannot wait to share it with all of you. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next! Thanks for reading, see ya real soon 🙂