Moonlight Magic

If you listened to today’s podcast, you heard our friends David and Steven talk about attending the Moonlight Magic Event at Magic Kingdom. You also heard the plug for this very blog! Thank you again David and Steven and we hope you have you back on our Theme Park Thursday Podcast real soon!

And now for our guest blogger, Steven:

Hi, I’m Steven and I’m not a Disney addict.

I thought it was important to get that little tidbit out upfront. Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney, I’ve had magical moments and I married my husband who is a huge Disney addict, so I get it. That being said, I can live with a once a year Disney fix, whereas my husband and other Disney addicts I know need to go multiple times a year to satisfy their need. I had a Disney theme to my wedding, designing Fastpass save the dates and table themes, putting hidden Mickeys in our invitation, and entering the reception with wedding Mickey ears. I love Disney mostly because the people I love, love it.

Sister Dillo chiming in for a second – I attended that amazing Disney themed wedding and it was magical! Now back to our regularly scheduled blog…

My main qualms with Disney tend to be lines, crowds and heat. Price is a whole different monster that I won’t awaken here. So when my best friend’s wife, Kimmy, mentioned the opportunity to enter the park for the private Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Moonlight Magic event, I was immediately intrigued. An event at Disney, in the Magic Kingdom, with limited entry (no lines/crowds) and at night in January (no heat) sounded like my dream really did come true. I had no idea just how right I was.

IMG_20180129_102500

When Kimmy extended the invite, my first move (obviously) was to inform my Disney-addict husband, David. David immediately scoured the internet for some info on this almost “too good to be true” event. Needless to say, if you’re not a DVC member, Disney doesn’t exactly make the information easy to find. Once we were filled in on the details, we were sold. A free, up to 6 hour event, in Disney…what’s not to love?

Around 8pm on a very rainy January 28th, we met Kimmy and 2 of her friends at the main gate of the Magic Kingdom. After she checked in, we were all given wristbands and welcomed into the park. The first sign that this was going to be something special was the mass exodus of “normal” guests streaming past us as we walked under the Railroad tracks. The park officially closed at 8pm, the fireworks were over and the park was clearing out fast. Our first stop was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which still had a line of non-event guests waiting for their turn. In response, we were routed down the FastPass entrance, until the crowds fully dispersed. We were on and off the Mine Train in a matter of 10, maybe 15 minutes. What we didn’t realize at that moment was that this would be the longest line we waited on that night.

20180128_222713

By about 10pm, the park was desolate. I mean, look at the picture above of Cinderella’s Castle. When could you ever get a photo like that without hundreds of people in front of you? Never, that’s when! We made a game plan of hitting all the big ticket items as many times as possible and skipping the rides we would normally be able to walk onto. In the end, we did almost every attraction that was available and did the big ones (Mine train, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain) at least twice.

IMG_20180128_233228

Check out this picture of the line queue for Peter Pan! One of the (inexplicably) longest lines in the park on a normal day and now completely deserted. No one in front of or behind us. It was an experience I’d never had in Disney before. It was magical.

In addition to the basic details being hard to find online, we also had no idea what would be included except for “complimentary light refreshments and unique entertainment.” After a few rides, we wanted a snack; namely, popcorn. We noticed a swarm of people entering a restaurant (I’m told it was Columbia Harbor House…who IMG_20180128_231604knew?) and we decided to ask a cast member where the popcorn was. After admitting she didn’t know, and checking with another cast member, she told us there was no popcorn! Then, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked what people were doing in the restaurant here. It seemed odd to me that you would come to an event like this just to spend money on food. Her answer to my question rocked our world: All the food, all over the park, is free. Free.99, Free-50-free, Free.30. Completely free food, drink, and desserts all over the park?! Now I was in heaven. I love food to begin with, but slap a “free” sticker on it, especially in a place like Disney which is known for their high prices for food, and you have a very happy Steven. We found out restaurants all over the park were offering abbreviated menus including chicken nuggets, hot dogs, burgers, soda, cookies, MICKEY ICE CREAM and more! It was just another special touch to an already magical evening. I am however sad to report…there was no popcorn. 😦

Walking around the Magic Kingdom when it’s empty and all lit up at night was a magical experience. The final magical perk of the night was an exclusive fireworks show for the DVC members and their guests. We had no plans to watch the show, as that’s valuable ride time, but we ended up being in Fantasyland when the show started. This location gave us a unique perspective of the show, with fireworks going off all around us. I took a look around during the show and noticed that almost everyone had just stopped in place and were watching and enjoying the show. No one pushing you or putting a camera/phone in your field of vision, just a bunch of Disney addicts enjoying a special moment in the Magic Kingdom.

Although short and exclusive, Moonlight Magic was the most magical moment I had ever experienced in Disney. Bravo to Disney for really pulling out all the stops and showing their true appreciation to those who are DVC members. Also, our never-ending love and thanks to Kimmy and her family for allowing us this experience. I hope we can all do it again next time!

20180128_184047

 

Check out Dillo’s Diz on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dillosdiz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dillosdiz

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DillosDiz/

Check us out for Theme Park Thursdays on The Improviser’s Guide Podcast:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-improvisers-guide-podcast/id1254218017?mt=2

Libsyn: https://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/101499

 

 

Advertisements

La Hacienda de San Angel

On today’s podcast, I discussed La Hacienda de San Angel as one of my 3 favorite first time experiences from our Dillo Extravaganza last month. I promised you more details and pictures soooooooooooo

Drum roll please…

La Hacienda de San Angel

IMG_3941

Boom. This is the view throughout the entire restaurant. World Showcase as your dining experience backdrop. You can see why this is an Illuminations Viewing location hot spot! Very few views within Walt Disney World compare in my opinion, except probably the California Grill.

Even better? The food is great!

IMG_3942

Chips and Guac to start? Yes please!

IMG_3943

Costillas en salsa de Chile

This was my hubby’s dinner pick and it was so good I wish I had gotten it.  Translation: Braised shorts ribs topped with Chimichurri (parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, vinegar) served with potato puree and chile de árbol sauce.

IMG_3944

Luckily I chose a good pick as well!

Tacos de Camarones: Fried shrimp, Chipotle-lime aioli, cabbage, lime and salsa verde, all served over flour tortillas.

Yummy Yummy Yummy!

Click here to check out more about La Hacienda de San Angel and their menu! Oh and bonus: you can also take a Margarita to go for your nighttime stroll around World Showcase!

 

Sister Dillo

 

Podcast Previews and Disney Security

We recently released a preview of our upcoming podcast! Beginning on Thursday, February 1st, DillosDiz will be taking over The Improviser’s Guide Podcast for Theme Park Thursdays!

If you missed it, listen to our sneak preview HERE! And don’t forget to subscribe to The Improviser’s Guide Podcast HERE!

During our sneak preview we discussed the rumors regarding discontinuing Monorail Service. If you listened, you would know that I am adamantly against this idea. Hopefully it is in fact, just a rumor!

Since this podcast is literally just the Dillos having a conversation, I tend not to do too much research beforehand. We like to stay true to the name of the podcast and….IMPROVISE!

I questioned that if they discontinued the monorail, what would that mean for security? Disney recently set up security checkpoints at the Transportation and Ticket Center and Monorail Resorts for those guests traveling via Boat or Monorail. While thinking things through out loud, I asked how it was set up for buses, since I had not taken a Disney bus in a few years. Thanks to some recent googling, I see that those traveling by bus still go through security upon arrival at the Magic Kingdom.

Inside-out-disneyscreencaps.com-6656

All that to say, IF they did discontinue the monorail, they would probably need to put security back at the entrance of Magic Kingdom and go back to the same congestion issues they were moving away from.

I just wanted to answer any questions I ask out loud on the podcast for myself and anyone else wondering the same things. And to once again say: Do Not Get Rid of the Monorail DISNEY!

Thank you for your time regarding this very important matter.

-Sister Dillo

 

DillosDiz Salutes The Great Movie Ride!

For the first time ever you can hear the voices of Brother and Sister Dillo!

Brother Dillo has recently started The Improviser’s Guide Podcast (be sure to subscribe on iTunes). DillosDiz took over for this very special episode to pay tribute to The Great Movie Ride which departs Hollywood Studios (#AlwaysMGM) on August 13, 2017.

Join us as we virtually embark on our adventure and speak off the cuff to the Ride, the scenes, the movies, our memories and more! Being the nostalgic bunch we are, how could we not?

Click Here to listen!

Could this be the start of an official DillosDiz Podcast? ….Stay Tuned!

Sister Dillo

*Please note any research not conducted prior to recording this podcast, has been completed.

iG Special: Dillos Diz Salutes The Great Movie Ride

Beach Club at 25: What’s in a Color

This three part series just became four parts!

A question I always pose to myself when daydreaming of being poolside at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (I’m not about to go throwing the Vacation Club moniker in there) is… If I stayed in the Yacht Club first, would I love the Yacht Club more than the Beach Club?

No.

Why not?

Because the Yacht Club is grey and the Beach Club in the brightest of light blue. A light blue that accentuates the cream colors of the lobby and the chlorinated water. Walking from Yacht to Beach is like unto walking from Kansas to Oz – and the shipwreck in Stormalong Bay was from a tornado…

Wait, was that part of the design? Did I hear that some place before?

Is that an Imagineering choice?

::Googles::

No immediate luck (that’s to be continued).

There is something about that New England Cape Codian blue that to this day defines the Beach Club and sets it a part from every single resort in WDW. Every. Single. One.

The Polynesian is hidden within the lush tropics. The Grand Floridian looks out of your league. The Contemporary is an icon. Wilderness Lodge appears to be in a nook. The Boardwalk wants to be a theme park.

The Beach Club is inviting.

That light blue calls to you.

I have to go back!!!

The Beach Club at 25: Happy Birthday!

Something I haven’t talked about before is my favorite alarm clock in Disney World. The best sound to wake up to is that of the Friendship Boats while sleeping in your Beach Club bed.

As Brother Dillo blogged previously in: The Beach Club at 25, “Within two years, the Beach Club Resort would surpass the Polynesian as the favorite Dillo Resort (perhaps Sista Dillo thinks that’s a bold statement).”

Bold? Perhaps. But somewhat true.

For me, The Beach Club Resort represents the second half of my Disney vacationing life. The Polynesian represents the first. These two hotels made us fall in love with Disney, with Deluxe resorts and of course, spoiled us for life.

We can walk past The Beach Club and point out which rooms we stayed in. We can tell you about the corner room right next the quiet pool that was probably our favorite because…um, it was next to the quiet pool! We could leave our room through our patio doors and there we would be. We can also tell you how we were sad to see the shrubbery that was planted because it meant that future guests of that room couldn’t do the same.

We can tell you about celebrities we shared the elevator with, the ones we walked behind and the pictures  that hung on the wall of Beaches and Cream of all those that stayed there.

Time out for Fun Facts:

  • You used to be able to see MGM from the back of the Beach Club!
  • It took me years to go down the slide in Stormalong Bay.
  • The air conditioning of the lobby…I mean come on.

Beaches and Cream used to connect directly to the game room. We could play basketball and knock hockey and then walk right through for some burgers and ice cream. Now you have to go outside and back in again (its the little things we miss).

We have blogged many times of the serenity of the quiet pool. The place of baptism for my son (Disney baptism). A body of water to cleanse our soul and breathe in the Disney air. A pool where our family came together and relaxed.

Dillos don’t love change and changes have been made at this resort that we don’t love. But it doesn’t take away our love for the resort.

Happy Birthday Beach Club Resort!

>Why You Should Make Time for the Pool or a Nap!Sista Dillo

 

The Beach Club at 25: Storming Along

Disney’s (Yacht &) Beach Club Resort turns 25 this week, so Brother & Sista Dillo are taking a look back (and into) what has made the Beach Club my (if not our) favorite WDW Resort over the past quarter century.

Stormalong Bay

Without question, one of the perks of steering away from what are now called Magic Kingdom Resorts and towards EPCOT Resorts was the three acre mini water park that connected Disney’s Yacht Club to Disney’s Beach Club. Stormalong Bay presented just enough liquid elements to keep this teen of the 90’s invested when not inside one of the (then) WDW theme parks.

Having never visited River Country and Typhoon Lagoon still on our soon-to-visit radar, the closest experience had with a water themed thrill was the mini Polynesian Village slide at the main pool.

Stormalong Bay was a significant upgrade: a lazy river, a sand bottomed pool, a swirling pool, and a 230 foot slide down the mast of a shipwrecked… Ship.

Back in the day, as the oldtimers say, there was no checkpoint to gain access to the nearly 800,000 gallons of water at your disposal. You could run down and jump in – or run up and slide down. After some time, and multiple visits… and multiple scartches on my back sliding down the mast of a ship, the Resort became more crowded and the Bay area became less inviting.

On top of that, the real perfect storm called to us. An alternative to this mini water park nestled within these New England themed Resorts.

This alternative would change the way we Dillos defined tranquility.

This alternative would change the way we Dillos defined serenity.

This alternative became the chicken soup for our soul. 

Brother Dillo

The Beach Club at 25

I was 14 years old walking from the United Kingdom towards France at the World Showcase in EPCOT when I came upon the long, ‘this area is being refurbished for your future enjoyment’, wall. The pictures pointed to the future…

EPCOT Resorts

‘EPCOT Resorts?’, my 14 year old self said to myself. ‘That’s ridiculous’, why are you going to break the illusion of the World Showcase, or the whole, entire EPCOT Center (as it was known at the time) theme park for that matter… With hotels?

Within two years, the Beach Club Resort would surpass the Polynesian as the favorite Dillo Resort (perhaps Sista Dillo thinks that’s a bold statement).

All week long Dillo’s Diz celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort… But mostly the Beach Club.


Brother Dillo

Tips for Traveling to Disney with an Infant

The following blog is strictly based on my opinion, what has worked best for me and my family and suggests no judgement to anyone that does anything differently.

The first time we took my son to Disney, he was 5 months old. It was during Food and Wine and obviously a trip more for mommy and daddy than for him. The second time was last week for his 1st birthday. Although he won’t remember it, it was for all of us. Some may not agree with taking a child to Disney that young. That’s ok. You gotta do what’s best for you and your family. I don’t and won’t regret it and am so happy to have the memories and pictures from these trips!IMG_2092

Here are a few tips that worked for me:

  • Plan out what you can control
    • Are you taking a stroller and car seat? If flying, will you be checking them at the ticket counter or gate?
      • We checked luggage at the ticket counter (which prior to being parents we avoided doing but the less you have to carry on the better). We took a stroller and car seat both times and gate checked them. This way it made navigating the airport a lot easier. We also had bags which we got from Babies ‘R Us to cover each…prevents some of the bumps and bruises the equipment will take.
    • If flying, will you be purchasing a seat for your child and their car seat or will they be a lap infant?
      • Lap Infants are accepted until the age of 2 and saves you money on buying an extra seat. We went the lap infant route and also chose night flights in hopes that he would sleep during the entire flight (and he did).
      • On one flight, the plane wasn’t full and we were able to have him in a seat for no charge! (please note this is not the norm)
    • What is your child eating?
      • Formula, breastmilk, food…whatever it is-figure out what you’ll need, how much and when you’ll be feeding them to be prepared.
    • What can you buy after you land?
      • We traveled with bottles on both trips. When we got to Orlando, we stopped at Walgreens to get a small bottle of Dawn and a bottle cleaning brush, which we also left down there – one less thing to worry about.
      • We also bought diapers and swim diapers there. Of course we had a stash of diapers in our bag; but for the entire trip, it was easier to buy a pack instead of taking up room in our suitcase with diapers to cover the whole vacation.
  • If your child is on a strict schedule and you live by the schedule, traveling may not be best for you-especially to Disney!
    • My son is on a schedule, when we’re home. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t change here and there-so I’m not super strict with it.
    • Your child will not sleep normally when you’re away. Whether that means they’ll sleep awesome during the night, wake up more or take naps at different times of the day-it will not be a normal schedule.
    • If your child eats at specific times of the day-that may vary as well.
    • If you’re able to go with the flow when it comes to the schedule-you’ll have a much better and more relaxed time. Just enjoy it and have fun-you can go back to schedules when you get home!
  • Clothing
    • Pack appropriately for the weather. Take an extra onesie, or outfit or 2. An extra set of PJs. A jacket or blanket just in case it gets cooler at night.
    • Don’t forget the socks (and shoes) if needed.
  • Prep for the Florida sun
    • Pack the sunblock…apply and reapply.
  • Make Reservations but be flexible
    • With how crowded the parks and hotels are now, you definitely want to make reservations for restaurants you want to visit.
    • Get fast passes for rides that are appropriate for your child…Small World, Winnie the Pooh, the Carousel, etc. *The People Mover is always an easy ride to walk right on and if your kid is like mine, they’ll fall asleep quick!
    • When I say be flexible…I mean – you’re traveling with a child-everything may not go as planned. If you’re a parent you already know this from your day to day!

If this all sounds overwhelming-you may not be ready for a trip. It sounds like a lot, but most of this is autopilot-it’s just a bigger “typical day” and in a new place. But if you are home and running errands, meeting family for dinner, visiting friends-you’re always in planning mode.

If you’re going for it-roll with the punches and have fun! My son slept awesome and had a great time on both trips. He won’t remember it but he enjoyed it, we enjoyed seeing him smile and will be sure to show him pictures!

P.S. Not just for the courtesy of others (even though its still a good reason), but for your child-use a changing pad on any changing table you use. You will be changing them on the same surface as 100’s of children in the airport, in the parks, etc. Be prepared. I wiped the surface with a disinfectant wipe before putting the pad down. I went back to the bathroom later, on my own, and saw a child being changed without a changing pad. 

Sista Dillo

Someone I Know is Always in Disney

Thanks to social media – everyone lets you know where they are every minute of the day.

Awhile back I realized that everyday someone I know is in Disney (either World or Land). Pictures are posted, discussions are had. They’re just going about their day sharing the magic. It always gives me mixed feelings. There’s the “oh how fun!” followed by “<sigh> I wish I was there” followed by “UGH! Why can’t I just be there!”

Either way, it’s nice to see Disney present in so many lives of those I know. And unless I’m there, I will wish I am in Disney daily.

Sista Dillo