You may have seen lots of talk about free dining at Disney World in late summer 2010. But do you really know what it mean and how much it can save your family? I thought I'd share an example to help explain the savings a bit more.

Let's say you are a family of 5 - two adults and three children (ages 11, 8 and 5). You want to travel to Disney World August 22 to August 28 and stay at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Add on the free Disney Magic Your Way Plus Dining and a 7 day base ticket and this is what you get:

Total  $2,198.60
Insurance  $133.90
Grand Total  $2,332.50

That includes 6 table service meals per person, 6 quick service meals per person, and 6 snacks per person. It's an all-inclusive vacation that is very reasonably priced! If you were to travel to Disney during this time without the FREE dining offer the same package would cost $3232.20!!! That's a savings of $900!

So there you have it - true numbers that prove Disney's FREE Dining promotion is awesome! Let me help you plan a trip!
 
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Pin Trading became popular at Walt Disney World around the year 2000. Since then the phenomenon has become a favorite past time of Disney visitors. Young and old alike, can take part in pin trading with cast members all over the Disney parks and resorts. All you need is a lanyard to display your pins and a few pins to get you started. The pins can be purchased in almost all of the stores at the Walt Disney Resort. They range in price from $6.95 for the simple pins, to $14.95 for the limited edition or specialty pins

Pictured is an example of one of my family's lanyards with some of our pins. Each of the pins here were either purchased at Disney World or traded with one of the cast members. My boys really enjoy pin trading and it gives them a chance to approach cast members from all over the world and start a conversation with them. They really got into it during our December 2009 trip. It was a lot of fun watching them pick and choose which pins they wanted.

When trading with a cast member be sure to be on the lookout for the special pins that are only available from cast members. These pins are not available to purchase in the shops so they are very coveted and rare!

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

 
Even though it's been many years I will never forget the first time I rode the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was a few years after it had opened but it was the first opportunity I'd had to make it to Disney World. At first glance I wasn't sure what to think since the coaster is entirely indoors, and the building from the outside doesn't give away anything about the coaster.

Inside you stand in line and eventually make it into a recording studio where you "meet" Aerosmith, the stars of the attraction. Aerosmith is in a hurry to leave for a concert across town. They invite you along in a streeeetch limo to join them backstage. At this point the doors open and you leave the studio into the boarding area. The coaster train looks like a limo! Sit down and strap in because you're about to hit the streets at high speed!

My first ride was as a single rider. I sat down in the car and really had no idea what to expect. The headrest has speakers in it and Aerosmith tunes blast into your ears. Then the countdown begins and in 2.8 seconds you'll go from 0 to 60! It's a fantastic rush!

The twists and turns of the coaster take place in darkness except for the glowing large icons you'll see around you - street signs, billboards, etc. It's a very cool experience and one that coaster buffs to coaster fraidy cats will enjoy because it's such a smooth ride.

That first ride was such fun. And since then I've been on it many more times. My kids have loved it too. On our trip in December 2009 my 8 and 10 year olds rode it many, many times. They couldn't get enough! Thank goodness for Fast Passes!

For those that want to take children on the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster the height minimum is 48". I'd recommend it for kids ages 8 and up. But keep in mind it's very fast and very dark. There are lots of twists, turns and 3 inversions!

Something you may not know: The fictional record company is called G-Force Records. Remember the Disney movie "G-Force" that was released in 2009?  :o)  Disney has a great sense of humor!

Rumor has it that Aerosmith could be replaced in the near future. Who would you like to see as the next band featured in the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster? KISS? Queen? Def Leppard? Bon Jovi? Or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?
 
Unless you are a Disney fanatic you might easily confuse Disney World and Disneyland. I'm going to set the record straight. Disney World is not, never has been and never will be located in California. Disney World is in Florida!

Walt Disney WORLD opened in 1971 (about 16 years after Disneyland). The Magic Kingdom showcased Cinderella's Castle and soon people would be flocking to Disney World to visit  Mickey and the gang. Eventually three more parks would be added and Walt Disney World would expand into what it is today.

It seems like many people who have never visited Walt Disney World do not realize how large it is. There are 22 resort hotels, 100's of restaurants, 2 water parks, a Downtown area with shopping, and so much more. On Disney property you can ride a roller coaster train to see the Yeti. Dine with the Princesses. Play golf. Take a horse and carriage ride. Fly through the air on a hang gliding simulator. Create your own roller coaster. And even experience the best fireworks displays every night. There is so much to do!

This is just a brief, brief overview of Walt Disney World. In the coming weeks I'll try to focus on smaller details in my blog entries. For now, will you take the time to share what you enjoy most about Walt Disney World? Leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading! Have a magical day!

P.S.
Today's fun fact: Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955. What's so special about that date? Exactly 21 years later I would be born - July 17, 1976. Fate? I think so!