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While pool hopping is generally not allowed at Disney Resorts, I can tell you for a fact it happens on a regular basis. In speaking with fellow Disney Resort guests I have heard both ends of the spectrum on this topic. Personally, I say what the heck, let them swim. Each time we stay at a Disney resort it is typically for an extended period of time which usually results in a few days staying put at the Resort. This is where the real vacation time happens. Many of us adults like to enjoy a pool with a nearby bar for the consumption of a nice frozen rum drink while the kids enjoy the water slides and splash pools. Others just want a quiet relaxing waterside sun tanning area where they can read and adjust the melanin levels in their skin tone with the Florida rays.

The problem being is that you can’t always fulfill everyone’s needs at any one specific pool. Also, some resorts cater to a certain demographic. Now I’m not implying anything, but I have gotten cold stares while walking near the pool at the Grand Floridian in my Wal-Mart sandals and “Git ‘er Done” sleeveless shirt. So I can see where Disney is trying to keep each resort experience in tune with the daily room rate. I can also see where guests at a resort with an extravagant pool environment would be quite perturbed to see their pool overrun by immigrants from other resorts. Oh the humanity of it all.

The reality is that if, for example, you’re staying at any one of the Bay Lake area resorts you’re just a short boat ride from several fantastic but different pool environments. The pool at The Wilderness Lodge is an absolute work of art where the parents can sit bar side while the kids play and swim at a masterful creation of Disney water fun. The pool at Fort Wilderness Campground is also fantastic but lacks in sun tanning space and while it offers a game room and snack bar, there is no Bar. Across the water at the Contemporary Resort you have plenty of sun drenched native white sand for tanning, several pool and splash options, and Snack Bar/Drink Bar areas. The Grand Floridian was covered above. As you can see, there’s no easy answer – but there’s definitely a difficult question……. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

See ya real soon, Jerry


The “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion is now a thing of the past. The year long celebration began on October 1, 2006 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California was extended and ended in December of 2008.

The promotion enabled Disney Cast Members to award a million dreams to randomly chosen guests as part of the”Disney Dreams Giveaway” promotion. Many of these dreams were priceless experiences.

Ever imagine having the Magic Kingdomto yourself? The winners of this prize, the Spangler family from Ohio, did just that. These lucky VIP’s toured each land and enjoyed the attractions as the Disney characters greeted them. The Spangler’s were interviewed on Good Morning America and dined with Disney “royalty”.  They also served as the Grand Marshal of the daily parade and concluded their day with a special viewing of Wishes.

No doubt one of the most coveted awards was a one night stay in the royal bedchamber being that it is constructed inside Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World. A comparable Mickey Mouse Penthouse at the Disneyland Hotel had emersed a lucky guest in Mickey decor with spectacular views of the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks. These are just a few examples of the fantastic things Disney has done in real life, but my challenge is to let your mind run free. If you could imagineer your own “Disney Dream” , what would it be like?

My son Jacob would like a VIP bagde that would allow him full access to any theme park ride without waiting in line. My Daughter Caitlyn would like Epcot all to herself, her friends, and her family. My wife and fellow Disney blogger Melissa, says she wants an all access pass behind the scenes to Animal Kingdom so she can have first hand experiences with all the animals there.

Myself, I would like to be able to have a “ friends and family”  weeklong get together at The Wilderness Lodge with park passes for everyone. I have several friends and family that would never be able to go and experience the “Magic” without a little help. As a bonus, throw in a few guided behind the scenes tours, character dinners, free swag, line cutter passes, etc. Is that too much to ask? I would not, however, want the parks all to myself  because I think the people are a major part of the experience.

So the question is what’s your dream?

So you plan and plan, make lists, pack, plan more, remember something to put on the list – you get the point. It takes a village to prepare for your Disney trip. Sorry, couldn’t help myself just then. Back to business. It’s entirely possible, but hopefully not probable, that you may encounter a dreary weather day during your vacation at Disney World. This is not a crisis. I repeat, this is not a crisis.

A very good friend of mine turned a rainy day with two kids wearing frowns and depression setting in, to an incredible day to be treasured for eternity. What did she do??? Why she went to Disney Quest of course. The family - a younger daughter, an older son, mom and dad – had a fantastic time there. As she vividly described the rides her family went on and her unexpected excitement and competitive spirit on several of them, I felt like I was there. Her voice got higher, she spoke louder and I could not wait for our next trip to go to Disney World so that we could do it too. She was over the moon explaining their joy on Pirates of the Caribbean — Battle for Buccaneer Gold. I’m looking forward to Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters. Disney Quest has very accomodating  hours of operation which are as follows: Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Too much fun if that's possible.

Maybe you don’t have any extra park passes or you’re on a budget – no worries! On a cold and damp day during our last visit, we rounded up the family – Jerry, Cait, Jake, grandma and me -and we spent hours traveling to the different Disney World resorts. They are all so uniquely themed, it was a pleasant adventure. We were treated with the appearance of the little bunny we called Thumper, of course, at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Jerry swore the Disneyfolks had that planned to occur on cue when a family stood at the glass window. Nah, they wouldn’t do that…or would they??? The fireplace in the lobby area is absolutely breath taking. Put that on your must-see list. Oh wait, maybe I am the only one with all the lists…

How'd They Do That?!

You have to see this up close!

Although the weather began looking up, we continued on our journey of exploration. We were fascinated with Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This resort is so pretty, sure there are twenty other bigger and better words to describe it, but it really is pretty. We were in awe of the immense Gingerbread House displayed in the lobby. It was real and HUGE! I immediately got the camera out and began snapping away. You just don’t see a 15′ tall gingerbread house too often, well I don’t anyway. There is a fact board on display detailing the ingredients and the amounts involved to construct this beast. I wouldn’t want to pay even 1/8th of that bill.

See how happy he was to pose...

All in all, we saw several resorts we would not have ordinarily seen and truly enjoyed the rides here and the thanks to free Disney transportation. It’s a great idea for those looking for different resort options for their next vacation to Disney World as well.

Until next time…Melissa

 WDW news press release:

Here are some interesting aspects of Walt Disney World Resort that guests will discover during the Backstage Magic tour offered by Disney Institute:

  Walt Disney World has the largest working wardrobe in the world with more than 2.5 million individual costume pieces and almost 8 miles of costume racks.  Disney Creative Costuming has an inventory of more than 3,700 costume designs and uses more than 650,000 yards of fabric each year.

·         Magic Kingdom is actually built on the “second floor.”  The first floor is made up of approximately 9 acres of storage area and offices as well as a “utilidor” (utility corridor) for cast members. This Utilidor System is a tunnel more than a mile long.
·         Many Audio-Animatronics figures, such as those featured in Hall of Presidents, wear human-hair wigs.  Live performers wear synthetic hair wigs.
·         Thirty-five Audio-Animatronics figures are featured in The American Adventure show, and the rear projection screen at the show is 28 feet high by 155 feet wide.
·         Cinderella’s Golden Carousel was built in 1917 as the Liberty Carousel and ran for many decades in New Jersey before being acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 1967. The original horses are still used today.
·         Central Shops is capable of building everything from trash cans to monorails. At 298,000 square feet, you could fit nine football fields inside the Central Shops building.
·         The Hollywood Tower Hotel structure is 199 feet tall – making The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror one of the tallest attractions on site.  Some 1,500 tons of steel and 145,800 cubic feet of concrete were used in the construction of the attraction.
·         There are approximately 100 acres of browse plants grown for animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The Walt Disney World horticulture team plants more than 2 million annuals each year.
·         Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. At the center of the park is the Tree of Life, which is more than 140 feet tall and 170 feet wide at the base.
·         Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was inspired by National Park Lodges, such as Old Faithful Inn (Yellowstone) and Ahwahnee Lodge (Yosemite).  Massive pine logs for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge were harvested from standing dead wood at an elevation of 7,000 feet in Oregon and Montana.