Included with the cost of admission

My family and I spent our last weekend of summer vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.  As a Florida resident, a Disney passholder and fanatic overall, there many things I could gush about Disney.  I love being here and every time we come we experience something new.  This trip was no exception.

As noted in my previous post here, I talked about the benefits of Disney hotels and the meal plan. So far, we’ve saved over $100 off what would be normal cost for the food, hotel and tickets. This post is to talk about some of the new activities at the resort we got to experience today.

At the Magic Kingdom, there is a new “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom” Spell card game. With clues and a special map, volunteer sorcerers go around the park defeating the Disney Villians through spell casting portals. This is a great activity to keep older kids excited from place to place and is great for killing time between long ride waits. During the 5 hours we spent at the Magic Kingdom, we were able to complete 2 missions and ride Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Carousel of Progress, and PeopleMover. You can read more about the Sorcerer’s experience on the Disney Blog. Another plus to this experience, you get free collectible spell cards that could turn this game into a hobby for your card-collecting enthusiast children.

Our early morning consisted of extra magic hours at Hollywood Studios, catching up with a friend who is a cast member there, Rockin Roller Coaster, Great Movie Ride, Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Disney Junior Live on Stage. My toddler Jackson LOVED Disney Junior Live on Stage. It was a great interactive show with all his favorite characters like Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Little Einsteins, and Mickey’s Clubhouse.

After Hollywood Studios to Magic Kingdom, we then proceeded to Epcot and got to experience (IMO) what was the coolest adventure of the day.

We got to help Agent P defeat Dr. Doofenschmertz around the World Showcase at Epcot. See the Disney article here. The mission we completed was in the World Showcase of France. We had a blast following the clues for this. We were given a cell phone with all kinds of cool videos, locations to go and neat scenes to see at Epcot. Another great way to keep kids engaged at the park and things to do between rides. Also, we got a free pressed penny with Agent P on it as a keepsake to remember the experience.  Another little perk to improve our experience at Walt Disney World.

We caught Illuminations at Epcot on our way out of the park and returned to our All Star resort to enjoy the Friday night movie and cool off in the pool. All in all, one of the best days I can remember at Disney. We got to do some really cool new things and experience some of the old. Looking forward to seeing the Mayor at Magic Kingdom in the morning and having another fun-filled day!


Heading back to the Happiest Place on Earth!

My family and I will be heading to Disney World for our last trip before school starts for my 12 year old daughter, Lynna.

As Florida residents, we take advantage of the Disney Seasonal Pass. These passes include blackout dates but for the time periods that it is blacked out, is usually the periods we don’t go. (i.e. summer, holidays, spring break).

As we have gone to Orlando many times to take advantage of our passes, I’ve been quickly learning the benefit of staying at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. In 2012, the value resorts at Disney World have now included a mini-fridge and wi-fi access for free for all guests. Now we are able to bring our milk and cereal to eat breakfast in our room prior to heading out to the parks. Also, staying at Disney World saves $15 a day in parking. Our room at All-Star Sports was $76 for Saturday night, with a $30 value in parking so effectively, the hotel cost $46 a night. The room also comes with extra magic hours for extended use of the park. A perk only extended to guests stay at Walt Disney World Resort hotels or partner hotels.

Another bonus, staying at Disney hotels is that it allows you to add the Dining plan to your room. The quick service dining plan gives two quick service meals at Disney, plus a snack, and a refillable drink cup to use at your resort per person. This plan costs about $36-38 per person per day. The refillable mug alone is a $9.00 value and is great for that morning cup or coffee or soda to grab on the way out to the park.

The quick service dining plan also has some great restaurant options. My personal favorite is Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney. The food is delicious, there is table side service and you can also get a pizza to go to take back to the hotel or grab on the go in-between parks.

So for the four of us, our 2 day, 1 night weekend trip to Disney World, will be under $250 total for all our food, gas, tickets and lodging! A great deal and great little getaway for us before getting back into the school routine!