Monday, January 26, 2015

My Ride on the Jingle Cruise

One thing I was surprised to see during this trip to Walt Disney World (the weekend of January 4, 2015) was that there was still tons of decorations set up for the holidays. For some strange reason, I thought they would have taken down everything to normalize the decor for the parks. Now don't get me wrong, this was a wonderful surprise. I would still get to experience some of the small Holiday touches Disney offers their guests without the holiday crowds. One of the experiences I was surprised to see was the Jingle Cruise.

If you have ever been on the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, you know that there are tons of puns, jokes, and awkward stares from your skipper as they await your reaction to their informative spiel. This time around on the "Jingle" Cruise, there is holiday decor everywhere. From the classic tree topper to quirky hodgepodge, DoItYourself (DIY) decor courtesy of the Jungle Cruise skippers and crew, everything was thoughtfully placed. Even the boats were decorated! Heard enough to see more? Check out some of the photos I snapped while enjoying our holiday inspired cruise.

I truly couldn't get over how cute the Skipper's quarters was decorated....and I mean..
come on.....they built their own potato sack man.....

I had heard so much about the Jingle (Jungle) Cruise last year when Disney decided to create this overlay for the ride. I would have never imagined it would have been as thoughtful and creative as it was.

Have you been on the Jingle Cruise? Have you ridden the one in Disneyland? What did you think of the holiday overlay?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coming to Disney: New Star Wars Attractions

Jedi Training Camp at Disney Hollywood Studios

New Star Wars attractions are coming to Disney theme parks sometime next year!
The new attractions will be based on the much anticipated new "Force Awakens" movie.  We are pretty excited about this at my house!

Most people are familiar with the popular Star Wars themed weekends at the parks but one of our favorite attractions flies a bit under the radar:  Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios.

I stumbled across Jedi Training on the Disney website while planning our last trip.  Surprisingly I had never heard of it before.  Trust me, if you have a son or daughter between the ages of four and twelve that loves Star Wars, this is a MUST do!

On the day of training, you need to get to Hollywood Studios just as the park opens in order to have a shot at getting a spot.  You can easily tell who is headed to sign up for training.  As soon as the gates open there are tons of kids frantically running in one direction with Moms and Dads trailing behind.  After the sprint you will find yourself outside ABC Sound Studio.  Jedi trainers pick twelve potential "Padawans" for each show after all children register.  If chosen you will be given a time to report back to the sound studio to begin training.  The shows are limited and your child must be present to register so get there early and prepare to spend the day enjoying Hollywood!
I love this quote from the Disney website "Be sure to register early!  The Academy has limited capacity, so it's first come, first sabered."  

Under the instruction of a Jedi Master, your child will be tutored in Jedi trivia, dressed in authentic brown padawan robes and pledge the Jedi Oath.  After classroom training, the kids parade to the outside theater to learn how to use the force while wielding their own light saber!  Battle skills are taught and Jedi bonding goes into overdrive.  At some point a disturbance in the force is sensed!  Suddenly there are storm troopers marching in to loud music and the kids need to defend themselves against the Dark Side!  If the kids can defeat the dark side they will receive their own authentic Jedi Certificate with their name on it.

A few tips:

-We went into training not knowing what to expect.  After the initial shock of being thrust into battle on stage and with my coaxing from the side, my son rallied.  If your child is a little timid or scares easily you might want to wait till a future trip to train!  
-Make sure you have a ton of space on your camera card because these are going to be shots you don't want to miss.

-I highly recommend one person take video while another takes photos.

-Disney photographers are there so make sure you get the photo cards they are handing out.  The Disney photos are up close and come out fantastic!

-If you are traveling with a group, have everyone show up to cheer on the Jedi in training.  It is fun to have a crowd there in your corner as you face your darkest fears!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

'Twas the Night Before Travel

I hope you have had an amazing start to your New Year. I know I am because....


It's very exciting as we will be doing a first for our family and even on the blog. We will be using Magic Bands during our trip. I will definitely be reporting back to let you know the ups, downs, and surprises for this system from start to end, but for right now, I am enjoying the eve before our trip.

In honor, so to speak, of the excitement that is bubbling up at my house, I thought I would share something really great that Judy Dulberg, one of our writers, wrote for this very moment. It's a take on a holiday classic that most of us are very familiar with. Enjoy!!

‘Twas the night before travel
And all through the house
Anticipation was building
To go see the mouse
The tickets were packed
The luggage was too
It was time to turn in,
But excitement just grew
Vitamins were taken
And bills were all filed
For this middle-aged mind
With the heart of a child
We entered the airport
Past the traffic and hassle
Which was all left behind
With one glimpse of the castle
So much joy in one place
Is a real gem, indeed
Especially with passes
Made of magical speed
Reservations were made
So no standing in line
No wait would be had
Not to ride, view, or dine
Characters, fireworks
Shows, parades too
So synchronize watches
There’s so much to do.
Put on good shoes
And race to the park
There’s nothing but fun
From sunrise to dark
You have only one job here
Now roll up your sleeves
Then open your heart
And get set to Believe
Fasten your seatbelt
And get used to that smile
Everyone is a kid here
If just for a while
Then remember your trip
As you turn out the light -
Happy travels to all
And to all a good night…
©Judy Dulberg 2014

Good night and keep a look out on Instagram for some great photos from the parks!
See you all real soon!!