Disney’s NEW Toy Story Land REVIEW

Love Toy Story?  Wanna FEEL like a toy and meet Woody and the Gang?  How about a NEW Coaster?  Take a Look…

Hi again, today I thought we would switch gears for a few and talk Walt Disney World.  But don’t worry – plenty of Cruise info to come!  As many of you probably know, Disney opened up a NEW land last summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Land!  It’s a stink’in cute area, jam packed with toys, colors, characters and 2 NEW rides.

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What a FUN way to welcome you!!

Look and Feel:

I recently revisited this area and I just love all the action and best part, you are not a kid in TSL (Toy Story Land) – you are a TOY!!  Everything is scaled to make you feel like a toy, like you too have “Andy” on the bottom of your shoe.  Giant Pixar Ball, Giant Box of Crayons, Building Blocks, Army Men, Links, Cooties, Dice, Jenga, Wooden Letters, and lots more.

The more you look, the more you see.  Even look at the road (ground) you are walking on…see anything?  The whole area is decorated like Andy’s fort of toys, spilling out to play with, trip on and enjoy…like a child would.  Christmas Lights are strung around the land, which is an excellent touch, as you can image the toys coming alive at night and using the lights to travel across the land.

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Toys at play…

NEW Rides and Dining Location:

Toy Story Land has 3 rides; 2 of which are NEW and 1 Dining Location.  The 2 new rides are very well themed.  Slinky Dog Dash is a coaster (see the videos) and Aliens Swirling Saucers is just like Disneyland’s Mater’s Junk Yard Jamboree (which my kids LOVE).  Its a rotating, swirling ride where your “Alien Ship” kinda dances around the track while it spins as you turn a corner.  The third is the ever so popular Toy Story Mania.  All 3 can be fastpassed (only 1 at a time), but Slinky Dog is clearly the crowd favorite at the moment (hello its a NEW coaster).

AND incase that wasn’t enough…you can meet all sorts of characters which you will find, both walking around and meeting guests (or other toys) in their meeting locations.  So Buzz, Jessie, Woody and NEW is Bo Peep.  I witnessed a group of kids interacting with Buzz pressing all his buttons and adjusting his “modes” – Spanish mode was my favorite 😉  And don’t forget to look at the restroom – super cute.  It reminds me of the theming around Disneyland’s It’s A Bugs Land – the bathroom was so well fitting for the area, it blended right it.  At TSL, even the “girls” or “boys” signs fits in with the land.  Bravo Disney!  I love walking around TSL and looking and finding new things I didn’t see before.  AND I love being a TOY!

I am looking forward to returning to TSL this winter as my family tackles Galaxy’s Edge, I know we will need our Toy Story fix, especially as Toy Story 4 is about ready to premiere.  I saw a lengthy preview and I liked what I saw.  “Forky” is the NEW hit character, can’t wait.

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Ariel felt right at home, she LOVED it!

So…stay tuned for more on TSL and Walt Disney World in general as I have LOTS to share.  And if you are looking to book a trip to WDW and are looking for some expert help – I am a Travel Agent specializing in Disney and would love to book you a Magical Vacation, complete with my FREE services and ALL my expert tips/advice.

Mahalo for reading and following my BLOG – Nina

Palo: An Adult ONLY Experience

Hey guys, Nina again…talking about Disney Cruise Line.  For those that don’t know, ALL regular dining aboard the ships are INCLUDED.  However, if you want an ADULT ONLY experience in a more intimate setting – Palo and Remy might be calling your name.  I thought I would give Palo a try since I get asked about it ALL THE TIME from you guys.

DISCLAIMER:  I have FOOD ALLERGIES and I am VEGAN, so my experience is not the same as someone who can order directly off the menu.  For this reason, I have been avoiding paying for a meal I felt I could get at the regular dinner locations.

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Price:

Off the bat its $40 PLUS tip PER PERSON, however you can add alcohol to your meal and pay additional for that.  They even had meal/wine pairings for those who wanted a FULL oral palate experience.

Atmosphere:

I found it to be peaceful, Italian decor (so a little dark) and fancy (perhaps too fancy for this theme park gal).  The views out the windows were breathtaking, especially as the sun went down and the moonlight sparkled on the ocean.

Attire:

People were dressed up, but its not as fancy as Remy.  I was wearing a nice wrap skirt with a simple top and a light sweater (its always chilly in the dining rooms) – but I am always the one to dress down, I didn’t even have heals 😉

FOOD:

I found the food to be delightful, but nothing crazy amazing.  Again, this might not have been the best place for me.  However my group seemed to all enjoy their food, not a crumb left 😉  They were able to order whatever they wanted off the menu, even several items to taste a bit of each.  I would say they got their $40 worth for sure.  Even their desserts looked amazing.  The food was multi-course and they were even given a tart/lemon/lime Italian frozen taste cleanser to enjoy as a way to prepare their mouths for the main course.  Our Waiter and other staff were very friendly and at times, a little difficult to understand…but that just helped with the Magic of it all.  They even had a little celebration for us, for one of the ladies at the table.  Disney thinks of everything!

MY FOOD – Vegan/Food Allergy Experience:

A chef came out and talked with me about each of my dishes, down to my dessert for which I specifically asked for a cake, NOT just fruit or a sorbet.  I might have been given the typical Vegan Course with slight alterations per my other crazy allergies.  NOTE:  I have like 20+ different food allergies and 100% carry an Epi Pen.  And I am not a fan of Tofu…so veggies and pasta are my usual go-to.

SEE BELOW and READ the Captions for description of my Meal:

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So…would I do it again?  Probably NO, not unless going for work again.  The food was yummy, but fancy really isn’t my cup of tea and to spend $40 per person, when I could spend that somewhere else on the ship…I most likely would pass.  But for those couples that want a semi-romantic dinner SANS the kids – why not?  Especially when you can enjoy the FULL menu and order whatever you want.  AND when you think of it – a character meal, for an adult, at Disney can be $40-45 per person easy…so in a way, I spend this kind of $$ on meals often, not sure why I was being so skeptical of Palo…I think it boils down to – I am just a comfy pants/tee shirt wear’in gal who would prefer to “slum” it with the other cruise folks over getting dressed up and feeling out of place.  Anyone else feel this way sometimes??  So I guess take my review with a grain of salt, but if you have Food Allergies or are Vegan – they 100% can accommodate you and I felt very safe.

Hope this review helped someone – Mahalo Nina

Embarking from Port Canaveral – The Disney Cruise Experience

Cruises start from different Locations, this is what its like from Port Canaveral, on a Disney Cruise.

Dreaming of a Disney Cruise Line Vacation?  Wondered what the experience is like?  Asking yourself if its the right fit for your family?  Well…follow my Disney Cruise Line Series and learn the ins/outs of the entire process, starting with the beginning; how you board, where you go, what happens, what you need???  I will be going post by post, sharing my take on the MOST MAGICAL CRUISE at SEA.  Having done SEVERAL Disney Cruises myself, at various ports…I am kinda an expert on the subject.

First Stop – Port Canaveral:

Port Canaveral is the Port Terminal you use for your Orlando based ships – flying into MCO.  It is HIGHLY suggested that you fly in 1 day before and stay at a local hotel for the evening…making sure you will 100% make it to the ship (more on this in a different post).  A Disney ship usually starts boarding about 11-11:30am and you will be provided a BOARDING NUMBER (based on your boarding time, selected ahead of time, online).

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Once IN the Terminal:

The Port Terminal opens about 10:00am.  AS soon as you arrive and after you go thru security and give your CHECKED bags to the Cruise Porters…you want to head directly to check-in.  You will want to provide an ID & Birth Certificate or a Passport.  You will also need your Boarding Print Out that you completed online (ahead of time).  They will ask you to fill out a simple medical form, assuring that no-one is sick in your party.  You will be asked to take a picture and will be given your KEY TO THE WORLD CARD – this card is your room key, your ID on the ship and also has some key info on it like your dining rotation, room number, etc.  Having a lanyard with a clear ID case is a good idea – PS I provide these for my cruise clients as a little gift 😉

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I ALWAYS pack and wear EARS on the ship. How do you like my DONUTS?

The Waiting and Excitement Builds up:

Now here comes the good stuff.  Stuff like Penny Press Machines!!  Stuff like taking the iconic Cruise Pictures, waiting in line for Captain Mickey or Minnie.  Using the restroom and waiting for your boarding number to be called.  HINT – if you are traveling with a child, this is also the PERFECT time to meet some of the Kids Club Crew Members and get your child his/her Band for the Cruise.  THIS RFID band (similar to a WDW Magicband) is the ships way of checking your child in/out of the kids club and also knowing where they are, at all times, in the clubs.

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Awe…the Sweetheart Captains!!

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PERFECT for the FAMILY Shot – Ask a Crew (Cast) Member to help!

Get READY – Its BOARDING time:

Once your Boarding Number is called…get ready…cause now all the REAL fun begins.  You walk down a hallway, scan your KEY TO THE WORLD CARD for the first time, take a special picture (think Holiday Card) and FINALLY actually board the ship.  As you take your first steps onto the Ship, a Crew Member will ask your family name (feel free to be creative, I am talking to you Incredible Family or Skywalker Family) – they will announce your name as you walk into the atrium/lobby/hub of the ship.  Crew Members are standing by to clap and welcome you aboard.  Get ready to be in awe at the beauty that is your ship.  Take a moment, turn around and really “take it all in” or be like me and cry like a baby in excitement.

Now that you are on the ship – the world is your oyster.  Go eat, go pool, go explore.  Shops are closed until the ship actually starts moving, but you are welcome to begin the magic, the fun…making memories.  This is also when its important to have PACKED all your swim gear in your carry-on – NOT in the checked bags you left with the porter.  Adults grab a beverage, kids get ready to splash and people who want to start living the Cruise Life – go eat at the restaurant that’s open at lunch, where you can dine in style and order off a menu while your amazing service begins.  Others will be rushing thru the buffet trying to get to the pool or kids clubs as soon as they possibly can.

Don’t get too comfy – you still need to experience the Muster Drill at 4:00.  This is 100% mandatory and 100% for ALL passengers.  So get the kids out of the pool, throw on a cover-up and get to the drill.  After that…you have the “Sail Away” Party (arrive early for a GOOD spot and don’t forget you can watch from the deck above) and the ship begins to move – (Motion Sickness).  Your Stateroom should be ready about 1:30, so you will be able to change and get dressed if you want and for sure before dinner.

Once the ship takes off – you are ON CRUISE TIME – Enjoy, relax, explore and EAT!!  More to come, stay tuned.

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**And remember I am a Travel Agent, specializing in Disney Vacations (which includes Disney Cruise Line) – so if you think these posts are helpful…wait until you book a trip with me 🙂  My services are complementary as Disney pays me, not you…so why not – book with an expert and let me help you have the MOST MAGICAL CRUISE EVER!!

Mahalo – Nina