The Lights of Disney

Coral Reef light fixtures

Light in the lobby of Coral Reef

One of the things that makes Disney so special is the attention to detail that is given.  From the cast member’s costuming to having no public restrooms in Liberty Square at Disney World, Disney works to ensure that everything works together to make you feel like you are lost in the setting you are in. This is even true of the lighting around the Disney Parks & resorts and the Disney Cruise Line ships.  I have developed a mild obsession with the light fixtures of Disney.  It started on an early trip to Disney World with a lunch at Coral Reef in Epcot.

Throughout our visits to the parks, the resorts and the cruise ships, I am continually amazed at the detail in the light fixtures and how someting as simple as a light is used to tell the story of whatever location you are in. Many Disney fanatics can determine a location based on something as simple as a picture of a light because of how each one is specific to the theme of wherever it is located.

Animation Hall light

The retangles are each a cell from one of the movies represented at Art of AnimationLight fixture on Disney Dream

Disney Dream

Light fixture greeting you as you board


Disney World during the holidays

Christmas Lights on Cinderella Castle


Disney World is gearing up for the Christmas holiday season.  Soon the Magic Kingdom will be hosting Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will be twinkling in Hollywood Studios, the giant gingerbread house will be built in the Grand Floridian and famous faces will be retelling the Christmas story along with a host of musical voices in Epcot at the Candelight Processional.   

Disney World is a magical place…in fact, the Magic Kingdom is known as “The Magical Place On Earth”…but when you add the magic of Christmas to it, it truly becomes an amazing experience!

Disney Cruise Line Announces 2012-2013 Itineraries & Sail Dates

Disney Cruise Line announced the 2012-2013 itineraries for the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Remember, cruise prices only go up,especially on these 2 popular, in demand ships.  Deposits are refundable until final payment is made so if you have been considering a Disney Cruise, let’s book your stateroom now!

Disney’s Photopass makes your memories even more magical

As you may have previously learned in this POST, I love Disney’s Photopass! Not only does it make sure the entire family is included in the pictures, it adds extra magic to your memories. I make it a point to ask every Photopass Photographer I see if they take any “magic shots”.  Magic shots may have balloons appear in your hand or have a friend join you in the picture. But they are sure to add to the memories you make on your Disney World vacation.

Take a look at these “magic shots” from Disney Photopass photographers…

Epcot with small children

I hear it with almost every client…”There’s really not much for my kids to do at Epcot, is there?”  Epcot is the hidden gem of the Walt Disney World Resort in my opinion! My kids have been visiting Epcot since they were only 18 months & 3 1/2 years old and they enjoy it just as much as they do every other Disney World theme park.  We spend at least 2 days in Epcot on every trip! Epcot is a bit different offering fewer rides and maybe less character themed attractions, but it is just as much fun as the other 3.

The Living Seas w/ Nemo and Turlte Talk seem to be the first (and often only) things people think of for kids. But there is so much more… Journey Into Imagination w/ Figment & ImageWorks, Ellen’s Energy Adventure (dinosaurs are involved), Spaceship Earth (the big ball), Living with the land, Gran Fiesta Tour starring the 3 Cabelleros in Mexico, Maelstrom in Norway (for brave little vikings) and lots and lots of characters. From our experience, lines for characters are shorter at Epcot because so many people overlook it. Innoventions East & West also offers lots to be discovered…from a station of Disney video games to a fire safety house.

And let’s not forget the AMAZING entertainment throughout pavilions of World Showcase, the Dragon Legend Acrobats in China are incredible! Head on over to Japan to watch Miyuki the “candy lady” practice the ancient art of candy making and possibly be lucky enough to go home with one of her masterpieces.  Miyuki is the only female candy artist in Japan.  My kids also enjoy watching “Serveur Amusant” or the comical waiter in France stack and climb chairs as tall as the building it seems! Over in the UK pavilion you can find a quiet area to take a break with a maze made from boxwoods that is the perfect height for small children to wonder through. The boxwoods are very low so that you can see your child as they run & play and you can take advantage of some shady benches.  What an incredible way to introduce your children to so many different cultures without even needing a passport!

The Kidcot Fun Stops are also a great way to learn and have fun while you have your little ones at Epcot.  There are 16 Kidcot Fun Stops where children engage in fun and FREE activities throughout Future World and World Showcase.  The main element of the Kidcot Fun Stops is a mask and kids make charms to go on it.

And don’t forget the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, a fairly new technology based game where Team Possible is sent throughout the World Showcase to Kim and Ron Stoppable save the world one country at a time!

And I haven’t even touched on the fabulous dining experiences you can enjoy while in Epcot. My son’s personal favorite is Coral Reef in Future World where you dine at the aquarium! How fun is it to sit next to a giant aquarium and watch a sea turtle swim by as you eat your chicken nuggets? My daughter’s favorite is of course the Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus in Norway…the only place to get Ariel’s autograph while she’s in her ballgown! Recently Les Chefs de France has started to rival my children’s favorites with the addition of the Remy from Ratatouille. Chef Remy makes a limited number of appearances throughout the day on his own silver plater. Here’s more info on Remy at Les Chefs de France. Only at Disney’s Les Chefs de France can I get my children to eat Blanc de Poulet Aux Nouilles (aka breaded chicken strip over pasta) or a biscuit au chocolat (chocolate chip cookie).

The attractions in Epcot lean towards more educational than the attractions at the other parks, but the important thing is that Epcot makes learning fun and the kids don’t even realize they are learning on vacation!  Give it a true and I bet your kids will like it!

Free Disney Vacation Planning DVD

What better way to start building excitement about your upcoming Disney World or Disneyland vacation than by watching the official Disney planning DVD?! This FREE planning DVD is a great way to introduce your family to Walt Disney World  or Disneyland if they have never been. Or if your family is a group of Disney veterans like we are, it’s just a fun way to walk down memory lane! Even though our kids have been numerous times, they love to watch the Disney planning DVD and talk about when they were there. I love to here, “Remember when we rode that and …” or “Remember when we stayed there and…”

The FREE Disney Vacation planning can be ordred from Disney by clicking here.

Disney’s Photopass captures even Mom

As a camera toting mom, I’m always trying to catch every memory with my family.  And I’m rarely in any of the pictures. This is partially because I don’t trust my beloved DSLR to anyone else.  Even when I do hand over my digital baby to my hubby that means he’s not in the picture. It’s not like I’m carrying my tripod and camera remote into the Magic Kingdom to set up for that perfect family shot. With Disney’s Photopass, we are all in the picture! And we get our family shot with Mickey, in front of Cinderella’s Castle and with lots of other favorite characters and places.

Disney Photopass photographers are available throughout the parks. When they take your picture, they scan a small credit card size card and give it to you. Each time you have your picture taken, they scan this card. Either back in your hotel room or once you arrive back home you log into the Disney Photopass site (and log in your card numbers. All of your shots will appear in your account after you have entered the card numbers. You then have the opportunity to edit them and add great Disney borders or character signatures to the pictures.  Once you are done you can order a CD copy of all of your pictures, create a photobook or design unique personalized gifts featuring your memories!

To find out more about Disney’s Photopass, fan site Stitch Kingdom have created this excellent guide.