Celebrating Christmas when away from home.

This year we are doing something different we are packing up our four children and celebrating Christmas on holiday. It’s nice to get away from the normality of life and go on an Adventure. With less stuff about there is less to clean, and your days can be spent exploring, relaxing and making the most of our wonderful world.

Our time is going to be spent in Queensland before we embark on our Disney trip. Heading to both Los Angeles and Florida. so make sure you keep an eye on our youtube channel as we will be posting lots of great videos over the next six weeks.

Christmas is a great time to get away, however, when traveling at Christmas time there is a little bit of extra planning to do.

10 Tips to celebrate Christmas on holidays

1 – Organise a house sitter.

For us, this was the most important but also the easiest one as we had a family member that also wanted to get away for the holidays so is happily looking after our pets and our house. Means you have an extra level of comfort that all will still be ok when you get back. Also means that you don’t have to worry about your pets feeling left out this Christmas season.

2 – Food.

Work out what you are going to eat on Christmas Day. If Christmas is normally filled with lots of food, celebration then staying away at Christmas can be a little strange but don’t despair. Find yourself your favorite restaurant in the area and prebook early a table for lunch or dinner. Make sure though you still head to the shops and by the essentials. Make sure you search out your favorite Christmas treats. If it’s not Christmas without your Rocky Road, then go buy the ingredients and make yourself one anyway.

3 – Presents.

  • For Others – Make sure that you have all your presents, not only wrapped and purchased before you leave but with ample time to actually drop off. There is nothing worse than going to all the effort to purchase a lovely present for someone and realising that it is still sitting under the tree at home.
  • Your own presents – When traveling space becomes a problem, and with four children making sure they not only get what they want but it is still manageable to get the presents home in your luggage is a real issue you need to think of. One way we get around it is by purchasing experiences for your family. Instead of huge lego sets, maybe you could buy a family pass to a local wildlife park or the zoo

4 – Explore the local holiday decorations.

Make sure you go take a walk and see what the local place has to offer this Christmas. If you are visiting Melbourne for Christmas their is always the iconic Myer windows or ArtVo instillation in Crown. Take a drive around and see the Magical Christmas lights. Ballarat has a great iconic art trail this year. Maybe you are heading over to New York and can experience a White Christmas. make the most of it. Maybe you are in Sydney and can experience the Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. We have been twice and they really are breathtaking.

10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home 10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home

5 – Facetime. 

The hardest thing about being away from Christmas is not seeing your loved ones, so make sure you have internet available and Facetime with those nearest and dearest to you. Then everyone can still be involved in the magic of seeing the presents being unwrapped.

6 – Decorations.

One of the most magical things about Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree, and even though we were leaving two weeks before Christmas we made sure we decorated our tree at home. We continue this by purchasing a cheap tree from K-mart and having it set up in our hotel room, that way the children can still wake up on Christmas morning and sit under the tree and open their presents.

10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home

7 – Christmas Music

We love music in our house especially Christmas music, so I make sure that we continue to play our Christmas music on holidays. We can’t miss out on our Mariah Carey, Human Nature Christmas playlist.

8. Find a way to continue some Christmas traditions.

No matter where we are our children loves to watch both the Carols in the domain and Carls by candlelight. Many a days traveling has been cut short to make sure we are at our hotel or caravan park in time to sit and sing along to the Christmas carols. Now thanks to catch up tv, we get to relive the magic of the carols for days afterward as well.

9. Create some new ones

If you are away for Christmas there will be some traditions that you might find hard to continue. Maybe it was a big roast dinner, however, the hotel you are staying at doesn’t have an oven. Maybe you always went to your local carols. Instead, create a new one, maybe buy a Christmas ornament from the town you are staying in, so you will forever have the memory of where you were?

10. Relax.

Christmas will be different if you aren’t at home, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Create new traditions, enjoy the fact you won’t be running from one event to the next.

10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home 10 Ways to celebrate christmas away from home

Have you ever been away at Christmas time before? How did you cope?

What are your plans for Christmas?

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All about the Disney Dining Plan

Back in 2005, Walt Disney World introduced something new and exciting in the Park, the Disney Dining Plan.

This allows guests staying at Walt Disney Hotels to prepay for their meals, it is a great way for you to prepay for your trip.

Disney Dining Plan is available for all guests staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel aged 3 and up, however, there are some rules in place.

  • All Members of the reservation must select the Dining Plan.
  • Children are classified between 3-9 years old.
  • Children under 3 (share off their parent’s plate) or you will need to pay OOP (Out of Pocket)
  • Children 10 + will be paying adult prices even if they choose Children’s meals.
  • The credits get loaded onto your complimentary magic band.
  • However most do not include Tips, you will have to pay those OOP.
  • Just like Cinderella, Your credits expire at Midnight on the last day of your reservation.

 

Disney Aulani resort

 

The Disney Dining plan comes in three levels.

Disney Quick service Plan

2 quick service meals per night of your stay

  • 1 Entree (Main meal)
  • 1 Non-alcoholic beverage for people under 21 (Milkshakes, Smoothies, Premium hot chocolates, Soda (Soft drink for Australians) Coffee or Tea
  • 1 Alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) for people over 21 (Includes Beer, Cider, Wine, Sangria, Mixed drinks, Speciality Cocktails)

2 Snacks per night of your stay

1 refillable mug per stay (only refillable in the resorts)

Disney Dining Plan

1 quick service meal per night of your stay which includes

  • 1 Entree (Main meal)
  • 1 Non-alcoholic beverage for people under 21
  • 1 Alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) for people over 21

1 Table service meal per night of your stay

  • 1 Entree (Main meal) (Or a Full Buffet or Family Style meal)
  • 1 Desert (Available for Lunch and Dinner)
  • 1 Non-alcoholic beverage for people under 21
  • 1 Alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) for people over 21

2 Snacks per day

1 refillable mug per stay (only refillable in the resorts)

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

3 Meals (can be either Quick service or Table service)

– If table service this also includes an appetiser.

2 Snacks per day

1 refillable mug per stay (only refillable in the resorts)

There are more than 100 restaurants, that accept the Disney Dining plan. This includes a huge variety of styles, from traditional sit-down, Buffet or family service.

They also include a variety of special dining.

Character Dining

A great opportunity for your children to not only dine with their favorite characters but also get autographs without a huge line.

Walt Disney World has so many different character dining, from Princesses, Villians, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and friends, Lilo and Stitch, Alice and Wonderland and even Playhouse Disney characters.

These are located in the parks and in the resorts.

Walt Disney World

Signature Dining (Take 2 Dining credits)

Walt Disney world has a great variety of Signature Dining experiences, these restaurants are restaurants that are normally more expensive when paying OOP, or extremely hard to get into.

These include Steakhouses like Le Cellier and Boathouse. To California Grill which overlooks the Magic Kingdom.

Dine in a Castle (Two Table service dining credits)

* Breakfast and Lunch is Quick Service for Be our guest.

You can make a reservation in both of the Disney Castles. Cinderella’s and the beasts.

Cinderella’s Royal table (Gratuities are Included)

You can eat Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner inside Cinderella’s castle. As you enter you meet Cinderella then as you dine, other Princesses come to join you at your table.

Cinderella’s royal table includes an appetiser, entree (main meal) and a dessert and a beverage.

Be our guest. (Prix Fixe menu)

Whilst it is traditionally thought as a Character dining experience, it actually isn’t classified as one.

Guests can dine in Beast castle, in either the Grand Ballroom, The West Wing or the Castle Gallery.

On most nights (Dinner only) you meet beast in his Library after you have finished your meal.

Guests booked for Breakfast and Lunch also get to Dine in the Castle, however, the Beast will not be present.

Dinner shows (Two Table service dining credits) (Tips are included)

Walt Disney World has a variety of dinner shows that you can book to use with your Dining credits, from the Hoop De Doo Revue ( located at the Fort Wilderness resort).

The Spirit of Aloha (Polynesian Resort). Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, at Fort Wilderness.

Private In-room dining (Two Table service dining credits) (Tips are included)

At some resorts, you can order private in-room dining and they will be charged at two dining credits. You will receive

– 1 Entree (Main meal) (Or a Full Buffet or Family Style meal)

– 1 Desert (Available for Lunch and Dinner)

– 1 Non-alcoholic beverage for people under 21

– 1 Alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) for people over 21

Pizza Delivery (Two Table service dining credits) (Tips are included)

– 1 Pizza Entree item (Main Meal)

– 2 Non-alcoholic beverage for people under 21 or Alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) for people over 21

– 2 Desserts

Cost – 2019

Disney Quick Service Plan

Adult $52.50

Children $23.78

Disney Dining Plan

Adult $75.49

Children $27.98

Disney Deluxe Dining Plan

Adult $116.25

Children $43.49

Once you have included your Disney Dining Plan on your reservation then the fun starts, Walt Disney World allows you to book your ADR, or Advance dining reservations 180 days out for your trip. We had such fun choosing our favorite restaurants to visit.

Your Fastpasses are booked 60 days out (When staying on property) so we then had fun again rescheduling a couple to make sure we got the prized Avatar flights of passage Fastpass.

The Disney dining plan is only available at Walt Disney World, one of a few key differences between the parks. You can find out more key differences on my article, Disneyworld vs Disneyland

So this is all the important information about the Disney Dining plan, now to work out which Dining plan suits you.

What is your experience with the Disney Dining plan? Did it work for you? Do you think it was worth it?

Make sure you follow us on youtube so you can see all the amazing videos of our upcoming trip to Disney.

 

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Paronella Park

Paronella Park – The Dream continues…….

On our last trip up north to Cairns, we decided we needed to visit the Winner of #1 Must do in QLD, Paronella Park and it does not disappoint.

There is something magical about the ruins of a castle, covered in vines. This is the perfect spot to explore, imagine and daydream.

Paronella Park

Feed turtles, walk through gardens and get lost in the imagination of what it would have been like in its heydey.

Jose Paronella had a dream, a dream to build a castle.

Paronella Park

And 120kms south of Cairns In 5 Hectares just behind Mena Creek falls, that is what he did.

He not only built a castle but tennis courts, bridges, picnic areas and over 7500 tropical plants and trees.

Back when it was an operational castle it also had a movie theatre which on the weekend would be transformed into an amazing space for live music, complete with a giant ball of mirrors.

For many years the Paronella’s invited the public to join them in their Spanish inspired castle complete with North Queensland’s first Hydro Electric pump, that powered the 13-acre site. The public enjoyed visiting the Castle from 1935 when it opened until 1946.

When tragedy struck.

Upstream from the park work was done and lots of trees and bushes were cleared, when the wet season came, all those logs and debris went down the river, and piled against the railway bridge destroying it. This became like a domino effect, sending the bridge, the trees, logs all down towards the castle.

The Paronella’s were upset to find the Hydro damaged, the refreshment almost destroyed, and the Theatre and foyer damaged. But they were not broken…. They began to rebuild.

The rebuilt Park stayed in the Paronella family until 1977. When they sold it.

In 1979 tragedy struck again with a fire that devastated the castle, followed by significant damage in 1986 by Cyclone Winifred, A flood in January 1994, Cyclone Larry in 2006, and Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

This has all contributed to the ghostly shell of the castle you see today. Something so magical to see.

When the current owners purchased the park in 1993 they too had a dream…. A dream to rebuild the legacy of the park and put it back on the map as a must see Tourist attraction.

They have restored the Hydroelectric system (Original 1930’s). They are preserving the castle, without rebuilding.

Paronella Park… the dream continues.

Paronella Park

Paronella Park

Paronella Park

 

 

Make sure you check out some of our other favorite places we visited.

Whitsunday Fishing Charter
Whitsunday Fishing Charter
Fairy Park Anakie
Fairy Park Anakie
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Photography on your holidays.

Why is Photography on holidays so important?

I love taking photos and videos whilst on holidays, whether I am walking around with my DSLR, my GoPro or just with my phone there is something magical about taking some photos to help keep your memories of the trip fresh in your mind when you get back.

But even more than that, Good Photography on holidays can help inspire others to get out their and travel, see Australia, see the world.

My top 5 reasons you should be taking more Photos on your next holiday.

    1. Photos help you remember.

      • Photographs can help you remember a time, a place, even a group of people. I look back at the grainy shots I took from my first trip to Ayers Rock back in the ’90s as a child and it brings me back to a different time. I begin to remember songs that I listened to on the long bus trip there. (Thanks Green Day – time of my life). I begin to remember hearing about Robert Harvey winning the Brownlow as I look at a photo of us sitting at the Glen Helen Homestead.
      • Photos help me remember places, to inspire me to go back and see the changes. I remember looking at photos of one of my first trips up to the Daintree Forest against photos from my recent holiday and it helps you remember the way it was, to the way it is now.
    2. Photos inspire others to travel

      • I have visited so many places after seeing a photo on Instagram that has made me go… Wow. We would never have stopped at Eucla and wondered the amazing sand dunes to see the Old telegraph station except we were shown a photo after a family members trip there.  On our last trip to the Whitsundays, we took a helicopter flight over Heart Reef, as I was inspired to see it for myself. I hope that my photography can do that too.
    3. Photographs inspire you to observe more.
      • I have found now that I am taking more Landscape photos, I spend more time looking at my surroundings. I stop to see the little toadstools / Mushrooms growing in the Grass. I look up at night to see the ghostly patterns the trees make against the clouds.
      • Now I spend more time slowing down, taking the time to go on walks on our trips, I explore more, hoping to find that perfect spot to take my next photo.
    4. People will want to see your photos.

      • If you spend a little more time taking photographs of the area around you, interesting views, interesting landmarks. People will want to see your photos. Instead of seeing the same photo over and over they will be inspired by all the new places you explore and photograph.
    5. Legacy

      • A few years ago I made a photo album that had a lot of photos of my grandfather in it. These photos where so important as he died many years before I was born. Without these photos, I would have never have known what he looked like. I love the fact that my children’s children will get to see the adventures we went on. They will see photos of us, feeding Kangaroos, climbing mountains, wandering through National Parks.  For many years to come, they will continue to tell my story.

Koala Park Creswick

 

To see more of my photography head across to my Photography page.

Do you take Photo’s when you are on holidays? What motivates you?

 

 

 

 

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Koala Park – Creswick

Creswick’s Koala Park.

In 1942, forestry students built the Koala Park by constructing a fence in a section of the forest just out of Creswick to be used as a breeding area for koalas.

They released Koalas into the enclosure to breed and boost the numbers of the local population. However, there was one big problem with their plan. Koalas can climb. They were able to climb the fence and spread into the surrounding forest.

Now there is just as much chance to see a Koala in Creswick State Forest as Creswick’s Koala’s Park. However, it is the perfect place to go for a walk and see the beautiful environment around.

The walks should take you between 45 mins to an hour and a half depending on which path you decide to take.

Koala Park Creswick

Koala Park Creswick

Koala Park Creswick

Koala Park Creswick

Creswick’s Koala Park is only 30 minutes out of Ballarat and is well worth a visit.

If you want to see more Australian Animals then make sure you check out Ballarat Wildlife Park.

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Ten restaurants / counter Service at Disneyworld we are looking forward to visiting.

There is something magical about Disney, whether you are organising a trip to Disney’s Aulani resort, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise or Disneyworld, the magic begins when you make the decision to go and start planning.

Each trip has its own timeline, Disneyland requires little upfront planning, fastpasses can only be organised on the day, and restaurants can be booked 60 days out. There is not a huge range of restaurants available in the parks, with a higher quantity of table service restaurants. With more of the dining located in Downtown Disney only a small walk away from the Parks.

Whilst Disney cruises can be booked up to 15 months before depending on what time of year. For booking Port adventurers that all depends on your level on the cruise. ie Concierge and Platinum guests can book specialty restaurants and Port adventures 120 days out. Gold Castaway – 105 days, Silver 90 Days and First timers – 75 days out.

Disney Aulani, most bookings are done, either when you are there or in the weeks leading up to your trip.

However, Disneyworld involves a bit more planning. Fastpasses are booked either 30/60 days out depending on where you are staying. And most of the rides with long wait times will be all prebooked by that 60-day window. Restaurants are open for booking almost 6 months before your trip. So you are supposed to know 180 days before your trip what park you would like to spend each day at.

This took a lot for me to get my head around as we are normally very spontaneous with our meals especially when on holidays.

Disneyworld has over 55 restaurants, and another 24 restaurants in Disney Springs, Boardwalk and ESPN area. Food is such an integral part of the Disneyworld experience. Many of the restaurants are booked out 180 days out, and if you want to grab dinner at one of the more exclusive restaurants like Be our guest or Cinderellas royal table you don’t want to miss your ADR window.

If you are staying on property you can also prepay your dining through the Disney Dining plan.

In the lead up to our trip, we have been watching DFB on youtube and going through to work out our top ten restaurants we want to go to.

1. Be our guest

Who hasn’t wanted to have dinner in Beast’s castle, taste the grey stuff and see if it really is delicious. Be our guest is located in the Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, in the theme and appearance of Beast’s castle. Be our guest is a Counter Service restaurant for Breakfast and Lunchtime and a Table Service Signature dining experience at Dinner time. Dinner is a 3-course prix fixe meal and if using the Dining Plan takes two Dining credits.

After Dinner, most nights you are able to meet the beast in the library after Dinner. Whilst they don’t guarantee you can see the Beast most nights he is there.

2. Cinderella’s Royal Table

Every young Princess dream is to have Dinner in a castle, and Cinderella’s royal table not only lets you eat in the amazing setting but allows you to meet multiple princesses in one dining setting. Cinderella’s royal table is also a 3-course prix fixe meal and if using the Dining Plan takes two Dining credits.

3. Rainforest Cafe

This might be an unpopular opinion, but in our family, we love Rainforest Cafe, each time we have visited Disneyland one of our favorite places to eat was the Rainforest Cafe. When our children wouldn’t sleep due to Jetlag, we would end up their late at night drinking their smoothies and eating their brownies. We were heartbroken when we heard that they were closing at Disneyland, so of course, we had to book into the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom on one of our AK days. We find the ambiance amazing, the smoothies divine and the Brownie’s delicious.

4. Liberty Tree Tavern

Thanks to the Musical “Hamilton” Our daughter loves American History, she has spent months learning all there is to know about Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington. So when she found out there was a restaurant themed to six influential American figures, this was the top of her list.

The food is in the theme of a Thanksgiving meal, who doesn’t love Turkey and sides.

5. Woody’s lunchbox

Woody’s Lunchbox is less about the food and more about the theming. Our youngest loves Toy Story, but then again who doesn’t, and when he heard that you can have Lunch at Woody’s lunchbox, it was the first place he wanted to visit. It is a counter service restaurant that has a fairly limited menu. With Soups, Sandwichs and melts on the menu.

6. Sci-Fi Dine Inn theater

Disney love theming, and from all accounts Sci-Fi Dine Inn theater has got theming down to a fine art. My oldest son loves the thought of eating dinner in a car shaped booth. Watching Sci-fi scenes on the big screen, whilst eating burger and chips. What more could an eleven-year-old want?

7. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

We love Ribs in our house, we also love Live music and being entertained and when we heard we could go to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and combine the two we where sold. Now we don’t like being part of the action so we made sure we didn’t choose the Level 1 seating. Instead, we will sit back munch on fresh salad, fried chicken and delicious ribs whilst watching the show.

8. Chef Mickey

Chef Mickey is the number one restaurant for our oldest, located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort it will be a great opportunity for us to explore one of the other resorts.  Like most children, ours love Breakfast Buffets, the thought of being able to choose whatever food they like at breakfast really excites them. I still remember the looks on their faces when they went to Goofy’s kitchen for the first time and saw the collection of pastries, chocolate mousse, Mickey waffles. As soon as we started planning Chef Mickey was added to the list. The thought of being able to see the original Disney characters combined with all you can eat buffet. Simply amazing.

Mickey mouse waffle

9. Aloha Isle

Who doesn’t love Dole Whips? One of our priorities when going to Adventureland in Disneyland is having a Dole whip, and when we heard that you can go to Aloha Isle in Adventureland in Disneyworld to get one, it was quickly added to our list.

10. Crepes des Chefs de France

The reason is in the title, Crepes. I love Crepes, and whilst they don’t have my favorite flavor, Lemon and Sugar I can’t wait to grab a Crepe to enjoy the light delicious snack when we head to Epcot.

If you have traveled to Walt Disney World, do you agree with our list?

What are the top restaurants you want to visit in Disneyworld?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Feeding the Kangaroo’s at Ballarat Wildlife Park.

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind.

Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of?

Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see.

If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is only one hour and twenty minutes from Melbourne CBD, and is open 364 days a year, from 9 am – 5 pm.

Admission

  • Adults $35
  • Concession $29
  • Children $19.50
  • Family (2A & up to 4C) $95.00

Yearly Pass Cost

  • Family Membership (2A & up to 4C) $170
  • Sole Parent Yearly Membership $120
  • Individual Yearly Membership $65

Every day Ballarat Wildlife Park holds Complimentary Guided tours, Animals shows, and Presentation.

There are also opportunities for you to pay extra for special Animal Encounters, including gorgeous photos.

Ballarat Wildlife Park - Animal Encounter

Ballarat Wildlife Park has a shop, and a nice cafe so you can have a nice drink and bite to eat before you head down to help feed the locals.

That is why so many people flock to the Park, Whilst animals like the Meerkats, Dingos, Crocodiles, Alligators, and Wombats are popular it’s the free-roaming kangaroos that you find all over the Wildlife Park that have everyone excited.

If you want to feed the Kangaroo’s all you need is to grab some Kangaroo Food at the front and wander around the Park. If you are lucky you might even get to feed a gorgeous little joey or see one nestled in its mum’s pouch.

Ballarat Wildlife Park is definitely on our list of top ten things to do in Ballarat.

What iconic Australian Animals do you think of?

Linking up with Feet do travel

Have you ever wanted to feed a Kangaroo?

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind. Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of? Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see. If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

When you think about Australian Animals, a few instantly come to mind. Think about it? What would be the first animals you think of? Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Emus and Platypus would have to be the iconic Australian Animals that tourist coming to the country are keen to see. If you want to find a great hands-on experience then look no further than Ballarat Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with the local animals.

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Disney Youtube channels to watch in 2018

Are you planning a Disney adventure, do you have your heart set on a trip to Disneyland, Disney world? Maybe you want a tropical oasis in Hawaii but with a Disney twist. Or you might be wanting to Cruise with Mickey mouse on the Disney Cruise Line? The best way for you to get into the Disney spirit is to turn on youtube and start dreaming and planning your adventure with our list of Disney Youtube channels.

We have compiled a list and which ones are best for you would depend on whether you are heading to the East Coast to Disney World, or the West Coast to explore Disneyland.

Make sure you subscribe to our page to as we will be beginning to show lots of great videos from our upcoming Disney adventures.

Disney Food Blog

At the moment our first Disney youtube channel we check out is The Disney Food Blog. The Disney food blog has been going since 2009. It showcases both Disneyland and Disney World and a small number of videos on the Disney Cruise Line. Most of the Disney Food Blog videos are about the Disney World. AJ from Disney Food Blog is an amazing wealth of knowledge and her vlogs are uploaded every couple of days.

She talks all about Disney Food, attractions and experiences. But the videos of the amazing foods will make you hungry, and get you planning your next adventure.

Tim Tracker 

Over half a million people subscribe to Tim. Tim is a great Disney youtube vlogger and he posts videos all about Walt Disney World. But what we really love watching is his amazing walkthroughs of all the Disney resorts. We have used these videos to work out which of the 25 resorts would be the best fit for our families upcoming Walt Disney World trip. Tim also posts videos about Universal Orlando and the occasional trip to Disneyland on the West Coast. Tim is often joined by his wife Jenn who also has her own youtube channel.

Disney Parks

Disney Parks is the official Disney Parks youtube channel. This is a great fun youtube channel that has up to date information about all the Parks, resorts and Cruise line.

Inside the Magic

Inside the Magic is a great channel full of information about not only Disneyworld but Disneyland and Universal Studios. Normally there will be three to four new videos posted each week. They have some great POV ride Videos.

Disunplugged 

We have only recently got into their youtube channel, but have been listening to their podcasts for quite a while. The DIS Unplugged is a discussion podcast that is all things Disney, most of the team is located in Orlando so it definitely has a West Coast feel. They also have a Disneyland weekly discussion and a Universal Orlando podcast.

Fresh Baked 

If you are heading to Disneyland then you might want to head over to Fresh Baked they are a fun youtube channel that posts multiple times a week all about Disneyland.

TPM vids

TPMvids are videos all about the Disney theme parks, they are a mixture of Top ten videos, Disney secrets and also great videos about Disney History.

Innoventions Media

We also love watching the Walt Disney World Planning Video. We found it over at Innoventions Media. They also have the Walt Disney Resorts Video uploaded as well.

 

What are your favorite youtube channels that you love to watch? Let us know in the comments as we love to hear about new videos to watch about the Happiest place on earth.

 

Are you planning a Disney adventure, do you have your heart set on a trip to Disneyland, Disney world? Maybe you want a tropical oasis in Hawaii but with a Disney twist. Or you might be wanting to Cruise with Mickey mouse on the Disney Cruise Line? The best way for you to get into the Disney spirit is to turn on youtube and start dreaming and planning your adventure with our list of Disney Youtube channels.

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Disneyland vs Disneyworld. The Facts.

Traveling to the states and want to experience some Disney Magic. Then you need to visit Disneyworld or Disneyland.

Many people that have never been to a Disney Park, think that Disneyworld and Disneyland are the same thing. But they are two very different parks in two very different locations in U.S.A

The Facts about Disneyworld vs Disneyland

Disneyworld vs Disneyland

Location

Disneyland is located in California on the West Coast of America, whereas Disneyworld is located 2496 MIles away on the East Coast of America in Orlando Florida.

Size

Disneyland resort is set on 500 acres. Whereas Disneyworld is 500 times the size, set on 25000 acres of land. Roughly the same size as San Fransisco.

Theme Parks

Disneyworld has 4 Theme Parks and 2 Water Parks

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Disneyland has 2 Theme Parks.

Hotels

Disneyworld has 25 resorts on property.

Disneyland has 3 resorts on property.

Transportation

At Disneyworld, all resort guests get free use of the Buses that run from Disney Springs to all the different resorts and Parks. Depending on your location some resorts also have monorail access, boats, and ferries.

Due to the size of the resort, it is impossible for you to walk from park to park. Each park is between 10-15 minutes drive.

Whereas due to the size of the Disneyland resort you are able to walk between the different parks and hotels. If you are lucky enough to be staying at the Grand California Hotel, you have your own entry straight into California Adventure Park.

The Castles

Disneyworld is home to Cinderella’s castle. It is 189 feet tall and has 27 different towers. You are able to dine inside Cinderella’s Castle, at the restaurant Cinderella’s Royal Table. Children can also experience Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside the castle. Cinderella’s castle was completed in 1971.

Disneyland is the home of Sleeping Beauty Castle, it opened on July 17, 1955, it is the oldest of all the castles, and the only castle that’s construction was overseen by Walt Disney. Disneyland castle is a lot smaller than Disneyworld as it is only 77 feet tall, however through forced perspective, it does look bigger.  Sleeping Beauty’s castle has a great walkthrough, that tells the story of Sleeping beauty through dioramas. It also has a room that allows people that can’t climb the steps to watch a virtual walkthrough on a TV.

Disneyland Resort

Fastpass system

Disneyland uses a Fastpass or Max pass system. They can only be booked on the day of your trip. FastPass uses kiosks located near the rides, MaxPass is an electronic system you use on your phone.

Whereas Disneyworld uses FastPass+ these fast passes can be booked 30 days in advance if staying off property, or 60 days in advance if staying on property. (To find out more check out my post on FastPass+

The rides at Disneyworld vs Disneyland rides.

Of the four parks at Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom is the park that was made very similar to Disneyland, they share many of the rides. However, there are also differences as well

Winnie the Pooh ride Disneyland

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Autopia in Disneyland is very similar to Disneyworld’s Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Carousel – King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland and Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Walt Disney World.
  • Castle Disneyland has Sleeping Beauty Castle and Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney world.
  • Disney Monorail
  • Disney Railroad
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Fantasmic
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Innoventions
  • It’s a Small World
  • Jungle Cruise, at Walt Disneyworld they have an inside section.
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland is the original and much longer, with more drops)
  • Riverboat – Disneyland has Mark Twain Riverboat and Walt Disney Walt.
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • Soarin’ Over the world
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continues
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Treehouses, Disneyland has Tarzan’s treehouse, and Walt Disneyworld has Swiss Family Treehouse.
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

But there are some rides that are exclusive to each park.

If you want to ride on Indiana Jones, you will need to make a visit to Disneyland, if your child loves Cars then a visit to Radiator Springs in California Adventure Park is a must. If you want to soar like a Banshee on flights of passage you need to go to Walt Disney World.

Dining.

Disneyland and Disneyworld also have different options with Dining. Disneyland has a smaller variety of meals available due to its smaller size and you can book them 60 days out.

Walt Disney World has the Dining Plan if you are staying on site, where you prepay for your meals. ADR (advance dining reservations) are made 180 days out.

If you are staying on property you can also pre-purchase your dining through the Disney Dining Plan

Disneyland has over 50 food locations available, with about 20 full-service restaurants and a few of them are located in the parks. Other restaurants are located at Downtown Disney.  Disneyland has mainly ‘American food’ and you can also get Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean, and Italian. However, that is about the range of food variety.

There are over 200 different places to get food at WDW, including over 90 table service restaurants. 30 of these table service restaurants are located within the parks. The other 60 are found between Disney Springs and the various resorts. There are so many types of food from all around the world, German, Norwegian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, African, Canadian, Morrocan, Mexican. No matter what your taste there is something for everyone.

Weather.

California and Florida are both warmer climates. Florida is a more humid heat. California a dryer heat.

 

So now you have some of the facts of Disneyland vs Disneyworld.

Which park have you visited?

What park are you going to head to next?

 

Traveling to the states and want to experience some Disney Magic. Then you need to visit Disneyworld or Disneyland.Many people that have never been to a Disney Park, think that Disneyworld and Disneyland are the same thing. But they are two very different parks in two very different locations in U.S.A So Disneyworld vs Disneyland what are the differences.
Traveling to the states and want to experience some Disney Magic. Then you need to visit Disneyworld or Disneyland.Many people that have never been to a Disney Park, think that Disneyworld and Disneyland are the same thing. But they are two very different parks in two very different locations in U.S.A So Disneyworld vs Disneyland what are the differences.
Traveling to the states and want to experience some Disney Magic. Then you need to visit Disneyworld or Disneyland.Many people that have never been to a Disney Park, think that Disneyworld and Disneyland are the same thing. But they are two very different parks in two very different locations in U.S.A So Disneyworld vs Disneyland what are the differences.
Traveling to the states and want to experience some Disney Magic. Then you need to visit Disneyworld or Disneyland.Many people that have never been to a Disney Park, think that Disneyworld and Disneyland are the same thing. But they are two very different parks in two very different locations in U.S.A So Disneyworld vs Disneyland what are the differences.
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Discover Walt Disney World’s Fastpass+

What is a Fastpass?

Disney’s Fastpass, Fastpass+ and MaxPass are three very different virtual queuing systems that take the frustrations and wait times out of some of the attractions at the Disney parks.

What is important to know is that not all rides have Fastpass. However, most of the rides with the longest wait times do have FastPass available.

The Fastpass (Disneyland) and Fastpass+ (Walt Disney World) is free for everyone to use, however, the MaxPass (available at Disneyland) comes with a charge of $10 per person per day. At the moment this also comes with Photopass access on the day of your MaxPass, making it worth the $10 charge.

Fastpass require you to go to a Fastpass machine, normally located near the ride’s entrance and you put your admission ticket into the machine and it gives you a cardboard ticket with your return time and allows you to go have more fun in the park whilst you wait. Then when your allocated time is their you pop back in the FastPass line and get on the ride in a matter of minutes.

MaxPass (Available at Disneyland) allows you to make your Fastpass selections on your mobile phone, whilst you are in the park. It is linked to your ticket so if you have a Park hopper you are able to make the selections in either of the parks. Just like The other FastPass systems, it is not available on all rides, just the rides that have the FastPass available.

FastPass +

Disney’s Fastpass+ service lets you reserve some shows, attractions and rides in the park in advance. All you need is a valid theme park ticket. With over 60 experiences to choose from and the flexibility to amend your selections at any time, it is a very handy tool. If you link your My Disney account with your friends and family that are going on your trip with you, it allows you to book for others in your trip as well.

  • You make your bookings 30 days in advance if you are staying off property, or 60 days in advance if you are staying on property.
  • You can make your bookings either by the website, or the mobile app. FastPass+ kiosks are also available in the Park.
  • There are two ways you can use your FastPass+ either by using your entry card or your magic band.

How does FastPass+ Work

What is a Magic Band?

MagicBands are bracelets that contain RFID radios, they are free for all Disney Resort guests and Annual Passholders. The Magic Bands hold all the information you need to connect your Park tickets, Your dining Plan credits, act as a Room key, payments and even your Photopass information. You can also charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room.

While other guests receive a card with an RFID chip inside, they can also use a MagicBand by purchasing them either online or at the parks at Walt Disney World.

How many rides can I book on FastPass+

Initially, you are able to choose three rides on FastPass+ when you have been on all three rides you are then able to choose one more at a time.

The important thing you need to know is that you cannot choose any more FastPasses until you have used all three, so if you decide to use your FastPass for one of the night time events you will not be able to choose any other FastPasses until the event has commenced.

Another important thing to understand is the tier system at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot & Disney Hollywood Studios. At each of these parks, you must choose one ride from Tier 1, and two from Tier 2.

Other rules are

  • You can’t book the same ride in your group of three rides.
  • FastPass times cant overlap.
  • All three initial rides must be in the same park. However, after you have been on all three rides you can choose your next ride in any of the parks. To allow for Park Hopping.

What rides are Fastpass+

Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Rides.

The Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The Haunted Mansion
It’s a small world
Jungle Cruise
Mad Tea Party
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Tomorrowland Speedway
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
Meet Cinderella & Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall
Meet Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall
Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater

EPCOT FastPass+

Tier A
Frozen Ever After
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
Soarin’
Test Track

Tier B
Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Living with the Land
Mission: SPACE
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Spaceship Earth
Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney Hollywood Studios FastPass+

Tier A
Alien Swirling Saucers
For the First Time In Forever:
Slinky Dog Dash
Toy Story Mania!

Tier B

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
Fantasmic!
A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Muppet*Vision 3D
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Opens 2019

Disney Animal Kingdom FastPass+

Tier A
Avatar Flight of Passage
Na’vi River Journey

Tier B

Dinosaur
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo – The Musical
It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Kali River Rapids
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
Primeval Whirl
Rivers of Light
UP! A Great Bird Adventure

 

Have you used the FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World? Did you find it easy to use? Tell us in the comments below.

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