Disney’s Free-Dining Bandwagon

Before jumping on the Free-Dining bandwagon, make sure you have weighed the cost against the value. I suggest researching all you can, starting with this overview of the history and considerations of Disney’s Free Dining offer. And remember, a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations is there to assist you.

I started planning my next Disney World Vacation by calling Jennie Nowers. When the Cool Summer Savings were released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not need to do a thing. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire.

Storybook Radio

A few days ago, I teased some big news was on the horizon, and that big news has indeed hit – I will be joining the White Dragon Podcast Network with my very own Walt Disney World show – Storybook Radio. Each episode will consist of a Walt Disney World segment and Universal Studios segment, as well as travel tips and other odds and ends. I’m very excited about this project, and the debut episode will air Wednesday May 13.

All about Free Dining

Long time readers will know that I’m a fan of free dining and have experienced the joys of it twice. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the pros and cons of Free Dining, so hopefully I can help out a little with that now. Free Dining was announced Monday, so it may be difficult to secure now anyway, but it’s always worth…

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Sensing the Five: Spaceship Earth

This is a unique way of interpreting Spaceship Earth, a favorite attraction of The Mature Mouse™. Do you enjoy this attraction?

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Storybook Radio

Spaceship Earth opened at Epcot (then EPCOT Center) in October 1982, and is sponsored by Siemens. It is a slow omni-mover attraction, themed to be a time machine carrying you throughout the events of human history, from prehistoric man to the modern era, and the progress of communication and human accomplishment throughout the ages. It is composed of a series of scenes of human evolution, made up of detailed sets and animatronics, a wave of sound effects, narration and a musical score playing all the while. The ride is about 15 minutes long, and takes patrons all the way up to the top of the geodesic sphere before turning the omni-mover cars backwards and returning patrons to the exit.

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Touch

While you can’t reach out of your Spaceship and touch the animatronics, there are opportunities for sense of touch to be tickled aboard Spaceship Earth. During the first scene, you…

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Chapter 9: Being a guest of Disney’s Magic Kingdom

As noted in Chapter 4: Our Disney vacation plan, we recognized that we would need a morning to sleep-in midway through our vacation week, so we should plan for an evening at the Magic Kingdom. Our first visit to the Magic Kingdom is scheduled around a 4:30 Be Our Guest ADR.

The new Festival of Fantasy parade is just beginning as we enter Town Square. We climb the stairs to the train station to get a better view. The parade is just making its turn around the hub. We decide to take the train to FantasylandCastle Door in order to avoid the crowd down Main Street and the hub. This would provide an opportunity to stroll through the New Fantasyland on our way to Be Our Guest.

We arrive at the restaurant shortly before 4 p.m. We give our name to the host, who is in a guardhouse at the entrance to the bridge leading to the castle of the Beast. We are given a typical plastic square alert device you receive at most restaurants, and we are allowed to pass onto the bridge. The gates at the end of the bridge are still closed, and there are a few peoIMG_1698ple already waiting. We take this time to enjoy the incredible view of Maurice’s cottage, and the gargoyles on the bridge. The styling is so well done; you have the sense that you are standing awaiting admittance to the Beast’s castle, not a restaurant.

IMG_1690The gates open and the small crowd moves forward to wait near the door of the castle. Wait staff, in period costume reminiscent of the movie, begin coming out the door to find their guests. We are escorted into the castle and the world of the Beast. There is a beautiful stained glass window by the entrance that depicts the marriage of Belle and the Prince.

Our tableIMG_1695 is against the back wall, which affords us a perfect view of the entire dining room. The familiar sights and sounds of the movie overcome us. Instead of an empty ballroom for dancing, there are tables of various sizes to accommodate the dinner guests. Chandeliers are maIMG_1694ssive and beautiful, and architecture is purely French provincial. At the other end of the room, centered on the wall, are ceiling high windows that, through Disney Imagineering magic, are looking at snow falling on mountain peaks. Amazing.

IMG_1692 There is a red rose, made from a coiled napkin, at each table setting. The food is very good, and the service impeccable. Our waitress notices our anniversary celebration buttons and brings us a serving of The Gray Stuff on a plate that has Happy Anniversary writtIMG_1693en in icing. We hear an exclamation that the master of the house is on his way, and the Beast strolls through the dinning room. As we are leaving our table, our waitress invites us to explore the castle. She also points out that there will be an opportunity to meet the master of the castle, the Beast, on our way out.

We IMG_1691tour the West Wing, where we see the painting of the Prince turn to the Beast each time there is a flash of lightening and a clash of thunder. On a table by thIMG_1689e window, sitting under a glass dome, is the enchanted rose, which is still loosing petals. In the library, we find a giant music box, built by Belle’s father, Maurice.

On our way out of the castle, we do indeed have an opportunity to meet the Beast. He is much friendlier than I had expected.

We head to the Haunted Mansion after dinner. This will be my first time on this ride since I was 14 years old. It is all I remember and more, thanks to various refurbishments over the years. There are a few added scenes, like the stairway to the attic, which was not part of the original ride. And, those ghostly hitchhikers at the end of the ride are capable of more Disney magic than they were 42 years ago.

We end our evening with a viewing of Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This 3D movie is a concert featuring all your favorite Disney characters. Donald Duck is in charge of preparing the orchestra for Mickey, so you know nothing will go as planned and Donald will surely lose his cool.

I started planning my next Disney World Vacation by calling Jennie Nowers. When the Cool Summer Savings were released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not need to do a thing. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire.

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Dining Plans at Walt Disney World

Chip and Company have put together an overviewing of the various dining plans offered to Walt Disney guests who are staying at a resort on sight. Participating in a Disney Dining Plan is one of the things that makes a Walt Disney World vacation so relaxing for The Mature Mouse. I appreciate an all inclusive vacation so that I can enjoy the Disney experience without worrying about extra costs. I have purchased the Disney Dining Plan for our last visit, which afforded us 1 table-service meal a day. As I stated in a previous posts, for a few of these meals we chose fine-dining Disney resturants. For my next trip I am looking at the Quick Service Plan.

Do you use a meal plan when staying on sight? If so, which plan have you used? Do you think the dining plans are worth the cost, or do you pay out of pocket for your daily meals?

If you are indeed a mature fan of Disney, a mature mouse, please use the link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. And, do not forget to consult Jennie Nowers about your next Disney vacation. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Walt Disney World Value Resorts

“In 1994, the first of the Walt Disney World Value Resorts opened.” Dad’s Guide to WDW recently posted an overview of the Value resorts at Walt Disney World. As I have mentioned in this blog, my favorite resort is Disney’s Beach Club for many reasons. You can read about our resort choice back in Chapter 2: The right Disney Resort, for us. However, my budget will not always afford me the opportunity to stay at a deluxe resort. I am looking at Disney’s Pop Century Resort for my next trip. This value resort offers dedicated busses to the parks, and some great theming based on the pop culture of the 1950’s, ’60’s, ’70’s, ’80’s, and ’90’s.

Have you stayed at a value resort? If so, which one and how was your experience? If you have not stayed at a value resort, why not? IS it because these resorts are themed more for families with children, or because you really enjoy the comfort of the moderate and/or deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.

Click on the image of Disney’s Pop Century to visit the full article by Dad’s Guide to WDW.disney-world-value-resorts-pop-front-judd

Top 10 Resturants for Adult Dining

Disney Questions recently posted their top 10 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World. As I have stated in my past posts, The Mature Mouse appreciates fine dining experiences away from families on vacation. Someday, when I finally have the opportunity to introduce my grandchildren to Disney, I’ll look for those family-friendly dining experiences. 

Top 10 Resturants for Adult Dining