Archives by Tag 'Orlando'

Walt Disney World With Annual Passes

By DD - Last updated: Friday, January 29, 2016
DD at Floridays in Orlando on a cool January morning

DD at Floridays in Orlando on a cool January morning.




“For the first time in forever”, Mama D and I went to Walt Disney World with a year pass! With the Canadian Dollar down the toilet we were happy we didn’t have to pay park admission since we already had our pass we bought last year. We got some souvenirs, including Sven that you can see in our pictures of the day next to our cat Alaska. Those souvenirs on the credit card cost 45% more! If you think it’s already expensive…

Unfortunately we couldn’t afford the Walt Disney World De Luxe villas this time (even with our pass holder 30% discount) so we stayed off site for 9 nights at the Floridays Resort and we were very pleased.






Day 1

Winnie The Pooh, Stitch and Mama D and DD with Mickey!

Winnie The Pooh, Stitch and Mama D and DD with Mickey!

We went grocery shopping at Publix and I baked my famous breakfast muffins and buckwheat pancakes that I keep in the freezer. I had printed saving coupons that I didn’t even use… I love Publix but I found they didn’t have much choice in the frozen seafood section like we do at home. For instance, they didn’t have my favorite Welch’s frozen blueberries and they didn’t have Glutino bread but I was still able to get what I needed; Such first world problems! We disinfected the jet tub with bleach and dish washing machine soap ( 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup Cascade powder) and the water still came out clean. It was important for Mama D to bathe in a clean bath with her low white blood cell counts following her cancer treatments. We reserved our next morning shuttle to Epcot for 8:25.

Day 2

tour guide flights of wonder

The tour guide at Flights of Wonder still trucking and doing a fantastic job!

I have been using My Fitness Pal app now for 5 months and my IPhone 6 counts my steps. I’ve read articles about step counters not being accurate but we tested it using a GPS and the distance is always a little under within a few meters. Maybe it has to do with my height and the way they measure the distance of my steps. I was so anxious to know how many steps I would walk and on this day it said we had walked 15 861 steps for a total distance of 11.96km!  We started the day at Animal Kingdom and came back at Epcot using the wdw bus. At Epcot we rode Spaceship Earth, had a drink at Club Cool, did Living With The Land and watched the Circle of Life movie.



Day 3Hollywood Studios flowers

After using our fast passes for Star Tours and Toy Story at Hollywood Studios, we took the friendship taxi boat back to Epcot to have our lunch in France with a dessert at the pâtisserie. Unfortunately The Great Movie Ride was closed for an undetermined period. I was looking forward to the new narration by Robert Osborne but then I found it on Youtube so I am watching as I’m writing this! We toured the world and did some more attractions. Back at our condo, we had our nice bolognes pasta after 15 relaxing minutes in the jet tub.


Day 4

powerball ticket

One of our Powerball Tickets. Canadians are not allowed to bring a ticket home and go back in the States with it… You win you stay! Or you put it in a safety deposit box at the bank. Just so you know and then you can give me some money if you win to thank me!! :))

After watching the morning news and learning about the historic Powerball jackpot, I walked to the 7/11 to buy us some tickets. It turned out to be a waste of money but we got 19$ worth of souvenir tickets… There were three winners that shared the 1.6 billions us dollars. How do those winners feel? Half a billion dollars is a lot of responsibilities; Never mind the Pearl by John Steinbeck! We took the 10:30 shuttle this time to go to Magic Kingdom using the Monorail from Epcot and then took the train to Frontierland. On the way back we took the boat back to the ticket Center and monorail to Epcot.






Day 5Hunted Mansion

Another day at Magic Kingdom where we had lunch at our favorite place, The Harbor House, sitting at the same exact table for two on the second floor. From where we were sitting we could see The Haunted Mansion. This day was the most crowded I have ever seen Magic Kingdom, a 8/10 crowd because we always go during low season. We noticed that the more people there is, the less people watch where they are going… and birds don’t watch where they are pooing! Yes, it happened! If I could have had the same luck with the Powerball ticket!

Day 6

The weather was really bad in the morning with wind and rain so we decided to stay in, do some laundry and took 3 walks around the resort. We played Slam and Monopoly card games.

Day 7epcot ball

With a year pass not only do we get discounts for resorts (up to 30%) and tours (15%)  but also on merchandise (10%) so we stopped at the Guest Relations office to get a refund for purchases we made and forgot to use our discount. For some reason they had to cancel our 2015 card and issue a 2016 one. According to Touring Plans, the crowd on this day was 10/10! It was  Martin Luther King weekend after all. We did our fast pass attractions which were Primeval Whirl and Kilimanjaro Safari with Rafiki’s train and Pangani forest in between with a lunch in the small hidden path from Asia to Africa. The first time I rode Primeval Whirl a few years ago, I had motion sickness but I don’t anymore. The trick is to not eat sweets, no coffee, and have a banana with some ginger pills an hour before a ride you think could cause motion sickness. It works for me in those low motion sickness, not spinning rides like Orange Mission to Mars… For that one last year Mama D and I took ginger pills AND Dramamine and it was worth it! This year we rode the Green one and it was enough.

At Escapology, they pt you in a room and you have to solve puzzles just like in viseo games to get out and in our case, we needed to find an antidote to save the world but we failed!

At Escapology, they put you in a room and you have to solve puzzles just like in video games to get out and in our case, we needed to find an antidote to save the world but we failed!

Day 8

Another day at the condo packing and slowly getting ready to go back home. We walked slowly on International Drive to go to Escapology that I found by chance while looking at the Google map back home. We tried to find the Antidote but unfortunately we were too slow. We were on the right path but too slow. One hour is really not long enough for two people unless you drink 2 double espresso before hand! It didn’t matter that we didn’t escape, at least we had fun and really got into it; We put the white hazmat suits on with the goggles and when the guide saw us  he said we didn’t have to wear those… I told him it was part of the whole experience!


Stepping out a step up to Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk Villas!

By DD - Last updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014
The Inn view at the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Villas

The Inn view at the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Villas

DD and Mama D went to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida once more but this time around they stepped it up a notch and stayed at the Boardwalk Villas. Oh my goodness! You should have seen the look on our face when we saw the view we had! We couldn’t have asked for anything better. Room 5061 on the 5th floor was perfect. It was close to the elevators and transport. On top of renting in a deluxe villa, we spent a whole week and had the most relaxing stay ever. For those who’ve been to Walt Disney World know how stressful it can sometimes be with long waits and a lot of walking.

SO nice to see Flowers and green tress in January

The river and flowers at Adventureland in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

Staying at Boardwalk meant having the boat taxis to Hollywood Studios and Epcot right at our doorstep; we were fortunate enough to have a room close to the elevators and the boat launch but still did a lot of walking in the parks which was fine for me but a little harder on Mama D but at the end of the week her feet were much better. Being January, the buses were never full and we never had to wait long and always had a seat in both boats and buses.

A fancy egret posing in front of the super expensive art gallery

I swear this egret insisted we took a picture of her

Our studio had everything we needed and the sofa bed was comfortable. Our room was facing the Inn and we could see the Epcot sphere, the fireworks at 9pm and the Beach Club Resort across the lake. We could hear the boat honks but it was not too bad with the balcony door closed. We had some cool weather so we didn’t use the balcony much.

DD and Mama D in front of the tree of life at alt Disney World Animal Kingdom

DD and Mama D in front of the tree of life at Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom

We were privileged to try the new Magical wrist band that replaces the card and we liked it. We loved to be able to reserve three fast passes the night before; we could have reserved way more in advance but we preferred just going day by day depending on the attractions left to do and some we might want to revisit.

Hollywood Studios' Twilight Zone Tower of Terror keeping an eye out for future victims...

The employee at Hollywood Studios’ Twilight Zone Tower of Terror keeping an eye out for future victims…

Among the new attractions we tried for the first time after 4 visits together was The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios which we visited twice; we totally loved it! With 2 Gravols I had no problem. Being fans of the Twilight Zone episodes it was a real treat. Dami and I will have to watch the episodes that inspired the ride; We have the full 156 complete episode box set.  As a souvenir I bought a bell, a towel and a Do Not Disturb magnet.

DD's memorable face during the Expedition Everest ride at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom

DD’s memorable face during the Expedition Everest ride at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

For the first time in HS, we did Star Tours. I think I might have done it when I was by myself in 2009 but I am not sure. Even with the motion sickness pills this one was a little too much for me. I read that the new ride with 3-D glasses causes more motion sickness. Another Gravol ride at Animal Kingdom was The Expedition Everest that I hated because it was too much for motion sickness even with Gravols; I bought the picture they take of you because I said I would never ride this one again.I let Mama D ride by herself on a few rides like Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom and Mission Space at Epcot.

Mama D on her way to Mission Space at Epcot

Mama D on her way to Mission Space at Epcot

At Magic Kingdom we did The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and this one was fun and made me laugh, it was my top limit without the Gravols kind of like Dinosaur at AK. We actually were supposed to have a Gravol Day, riding only attractions that trigger motion sickness but we ended up scattering those attractions and I just had to have a few days where I had to pop the pills and feel drowsy for a few hours.

Big Fish at The Seas pavilion at Epcot

Big Fish at The Seas pavilion at Epcot

We used our park hopper quite a few times: it’s always nice to have the option and the freedom. We had a Resort Day where we visited some of the Resorts: Beach Club, Fort Wilderness and Polynesian. It made for a really nice day. We visited Epcot many times and unfortunately we could not finish our ride at Ellen’s, Universe of Energy because the ride broke down. We took the Behind the Seeds Tour and didn’t learn much more than we already knew but we got to taste some fresh cucumbers; considering the price we paid, each slice cost 10$… Unfortunately the new Snow White attraction wasn’t ready so we’ll have something to look forward to in 2015! Dami said that next year he definitely wants to go and I think he’ll like it.

Walt Disney World Fantasia Mini Golf

The last hole at Walt Disney World Fantasia Mini Golf

In our welcome package we used the free mini golf coupons. We loved the Fantasia mini golf! It took us about 45 minutes and it was fun. We took a boat to Swan and Dolphin and walked from there although we could have easily walked from Boardwalk. We also used  the free 100 points coupon that we redeemed for a card at the arcade and played bowling again (last year we played bowling at the Port Orlean’s, Riverside Arcade). Mama D got some sour candies from the crane and we gave our card with the 15 remaining points to a mother and made her happy. It’s not much but it’s the better than just throwing it out.

The Walt Disney World Boardwalk Resort Frontage

The Walt Disney World Boardwalk Resort Frontage

Mama D and I agreed that Boardwalk was a nice step up from Port Orleans Riverside. We loved the ambiance, the boats, the shops, the restaurants and the General Store right at your doorstep. We will definitely go back and are again so grateful to Mr. Walt Disney and his family for having created such a place for us to visit year after year. Thank you! And thanks for reading!