Podcast: Episode 1, Getting to know us!

Jamie:

Hey, everyone! Go check out the new blog and podcast I’m participating in with some of the coolest Disney loving people I know!

Originally posted on Dole Whipped:

Very exciting news here at Dole Whipped! We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve started a new podcast, and we’d love for you to come and give it a listen. We hope that our passion for Disney shines through in this podcast and all others in the future. Thanks so much for being part of our very beginning here at Dole Whipped, we’re so pleased to have you.

Listen on Desktop: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/dolewhipped-41014_15484

Listen at iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dolewhipped/id862401037

View original

Disney Cruise AEP Trip Report, Part IV

After training we decided to take a walk through the ship and head to Cove Cafe for some delicious coffee drinks. We started in the atrium:

IMG_3177

Went outside past the AquaDunk (more on that later!)IMG_3182

Checked out what was on Funnelvision on the pool deck

IMG_3184

Sneaked a peak at the water play area AquaLab and Twist N Spout water slide

IMG_3185

And finally to our destination, Cove Cafe:

IMG_3193IMG_3194 IMG_3195 IMG_3198

 

Outside Cove Cafe there is a seating area (remember, this is the adults only section of the boat!) with comfy chairs and an amazing view

 

IMG_3187

You can even see where the AquaDunk comes off the side of the board straight over the ocean!

IMG_3190

Disney Cruise AEP Trip Report, Part III

Saturday Februrary 1st was a day at sea on the Disney Magic. As part of the travel agent training program I attended class from 8am-12pm learning all about Disney’s fleet and the Disney difference! But first, I started with a breathtaking view from my verandah and a great breakfast at the Cabanas buffet.

IMG_3155

Hashbrowns, grilled tomatoes and Krispy Kreme donuts:

IMG_3157

Bacon and eggs:

IMG_3158

Sausages and omelets:IMG_3159

Mickey waffles!:IMG_3160

Eggs benedict, asparagus and hollandaise sauce:IMG_3162

Oatmeal/yogurt toppings bar:

IMG_3163

Assorted cereals: IMG_3165

Then on to training, held at Animator’s Palate!

IMG_3167

Disney Cruise AEP Trip Report, Part II

For our first night on the Magic we were lucky enough to have dinner reservations at Palo, the 18+ restaurant aboard the ship serving Northern Italian cuisine. Palo is an amazing experience! There is a $25 upcharge, but let me tell you, it is worth every penny!

IMG_3154

The first of many hand wipe stations we came across, a great idea to keep the spread of germs down!

IMG_3152 IMG_3150

Palo does have a dress code: No shorts, No jeans. Also men must wear a dress shirt or jacket. Women are asked to wear a dress or pant suit.

The check-in desk at Palo:

IMG_3148

IMG_3117

Breadsticks and garlic pizza for everyone:

IMG_3124

Antipasti: (The prosciutto and parmesan were to do for, especially when eaten together!)

IMG_3123

For my appetizer I had the calamari:

IMG_3132

And for my entree I chose the  Chianti Braised Beef Ravioli. YUM!IMG_3142

Some other selections from my table mates!

The gnocci with gorgonzola sauce and asparagus (entree):

IMG_3140

Osso Bucco, Slow roasted centre cut Veal Shank with Gremolata and Risotto Milanese:

IMG_3139

We were given sorbet in between courses to cleanse our palates:

 

 

IMG_3135

Sicilian Pesto Marinated Grilled Shrimp, On a Mussel, Crab, and Cherry Tomato Ragu (appetizer):

IMG_3130

Mozzarella and Plum tomatoes (appetizer):

IMG_3127

And for dessert nearly everyone had Palo’s famous chocolate soufflé. WHAT a way to end a meal! Oh my. I still have dreams about this soufflé.

IMG_3144

 

Fabulous ladies after a very filling meal!

 

 

 

IMG_3115

 

Disney Cruise Line Travel Agent Education Program Trip Report, Part I

Who: Myself, and 5 other travel agents from my agency!

What: A travel agent education program, where agents visit and spend time learning in depth about their location

When: January 31-February 3

Where: Aboard the new re-imagined Disney Magic cruise ship!

IMG_3073

Our trip starts at Port Canaveral, in the Disney Cruise Line terminal! After checking in at the desk and receiving my Key to the World card and packet for agent training I hightailed it right through those Mickey ears and onto the Disney Magic.

IMG_3074 IMG_3077

First view of the Magic, a gorgeous thing even on a dreary day!

IMG_3078

Helmsman Mickey in the atrium!

IMG_3079

Even the elevators were beautiful

IMG_3080

And of course plenty of little Disney touches to admire. Do you see what the hand on the elevator is? Cute, right!

IMG_3082

I was in room 8084, A Deluxe Family Stateroom with Verandah on the port side of the boat.

IMG_3084

This particular stateroom can sleep up to 5 people.

IMG_3085

This couch converts into a twin bed (which is very comfortable! Ask me how I know ;) ), A bunk folds down from the wall above the couch and there is a Murphy bed that folds down from the wall behind the chair in this photo.

IMG_3087

You can see here the privacy curtain that can separate those three sleeping spaces from the queen sized bed.

IMG_3089

The verandah had 2 chairs and lots of space!

IMG_3092

A major benefit of many of the Disney Cruise Line staterooms is the split bathroom. On one side is the bathtub/shower, a sink and a mirror. On the other side is the toilet, sink and another mirror. This came in very handy when two people were trying to get ready for dinner at once! I also loved the storage you can see in the photo on the right. Plenty of room for your things!

IMG_3097 IMG_3098

After checking out the stateroom I headed up on deck to watch the Magic pull out of port and on to the open seas! Way down there you can see two cast members waving the ship away from the terminal.

IMG_3105

On the way back inside I spotted Captain Mickey greeting his passengers in the atrium!

IMG_3114

Up next, dinner at Palo!

Must Have Apps For Your Disney Vacation

In this increasingly digital world, smartphones can be a great resource to enhance our experiences, and Walt Disney World is no exception! If you have a smartphone here are some apps that you might find useful during your vacation.

My Disney Experience free

If you can only choose one app to download for your trip to Disney, it should be My Disney Experience. This app was created by Disney, and is an extension of the My Disney Experience website. After inputting your reservation details into My Disney Experience on your computer, you’ll be able to recall and keep track of them on the app. This can be especially helpful for dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations and other plans you have (fireworks, shows, parades, etc.) for you trip. Not only that, but the app also features GPS enabled interactive maps, a digital version of the “Times Guide”, the ability to view wait times and Fastpass return times for attractions and character meet and greet times and locations. Another major bonus is being able to check out restaurant menus and make dining reservations on the fly. Touring Magic Kingdom but feel like an Epcot dinner? No problem, pull up your My Disney Experience app and see what’s available!

Memories HD free

This adorable app is one of my favorites to recommend, especially for fans of the Disney’s Photopass service. If you’re anything like me, your iPhone battery is nearly drained at the end of each day from taking photos. With Memories HD you can add special park and character related borders, stickers and more. It’s just like enhancing your Photopass photos only you can do it instantly instead of waiting until you get home! There is even a “Photo of the Day” feature, which I’ve used to find some great wallpaper for my phone.

Hidden Mickeys: Walt Disney World $7.99

At $8 this is one of the more expensive Disney apps, but even at that cost it is an excellent value. The Hidden Mickey app has staved off boredom while waiting in line more times than I can count. You can search for Hidden Mickeys near your location on the map or search from a list. The app makes finding Mickeys a game, as you get points for each Mickey you locate. Mickeys are assigned a point value and you can even get hints for the hard ones. With Hidden Mickeys all over each of the parks, in water parks, at Downtown Disney an even in the resort hotels you’ll never hear complaints of boredom from waiting in line again!

Beers and Ears free

If you have any beer drinkers in your party this app is a MUST have. You can search beers by location, or search the beer list for something you’d really like to try and find where it’s served. The app also has a link to the Beers and Ears blog, which features reviews of the different beers at Disney World. If you’re visiting during Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival make sure to also download the festival specific app!

Days to Go $0.99

Ok so this app isn’t technically useful while you’re at Walt Disney World, but it sure comes in handy before you leave! A Disney specific countdown to vacation, Days to Go lets you know exactly how much longer until you get to arrive at your happy place. Perfect!

Camera+ $1.99

This is not a Disney specific app, but it’s the one that I find I get the most use out of at Disney. Pictures straight from the iPhone come out nice enough, but Camera+ helps elevate these photos to a new level. The “clarity” filter has produced some incredibly crisp pictures that look like they’re from a a real handheld camera, not just the iPhone lens.

A photo taken using the Camera+ app

Disney Gift Card free

If you’re like me and you save up your spending money for Disney using gift cards this app will definitely come in handy! It helps you keep track of your gift cards and the amount left on them. It even lets you take a photo of the front of the gift card to help you distinguish the card with $1.72 from the $50 one!

photo

So, that’s it for my must have apps for touring Disney World, what are yours?

Overview of Club Level rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

An overview of the Club Level benefits at Disney’s Polynesian resort or how I gained even more weight than normal on my Disney trip this year!

Club level rooms are located in the Hawaii and Tonga buildings at the Polynesian resort. My stay was in the Hawaii building, which is very conveniently located on the beach facing the Magic Kingdom and next to the Volcano Pool. It is only a short walk from the Great Ceremonial House main building. To enter Hawaii you need to scan your Key to the World or Magic Band as a way to verify that you are staying in a concierge level room.

The Hawaii building from a Magic Kingdom/Resort boat

On the first floor of the Hawaii building is the Concierge Desk, which is staffed from 7:00am to 10:00pm. Staff there can help with pretty much anything you even think you’ll need. They’re there, don’t be afraid to ask them questions! On the second floor is the lounge, which is the biggest benefit of staying in a club level room.

View from the lounge… yes that is Cinderella’s Castle way back there!

The lounge is open all day, with access to coffee and sodas 24/7.

From 7:00-10:30am is Morning Service with a continental breakfast of bagels, English muffins, cereals, oatmeal and of course coffee, tea and juices (which are also available most of the day).

Iced Tea, Lemonade and the famous POG juice!

 From noon  to 4:00pm is Afternoon Service, which consists of smaller snacks. The few days I was able to make it to afternoon service I saw fresh fruits, goldfish crackers, cookies, gummy snacks, chocolate covered almonds, white cheddar popcorn and trail mix.

From 5:00-7:00pm is Evening Service. Here you will find two hot appetizers each evening (different each night of the week), cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and vegetables and salad. There are some more child-friendly choices as well, such as Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and corn dog nuggets. Also out during this time is wine and a specialty cocktail. These things are available all day long if you ask, but are on display during Evening Service only.

From 8:00-10:00pm is my very favorite, and reason enough for staying in a club level room, Late Evening Service. Desserts galore and cordials to enjoy while watching the Electrical Water Pageant and Wishes fireworks show if you so choose!

A few more benefits of the club level include having your packages sent directly to your room instead of picking them up at the resort gift shop and turndown service.

Have you ever stayed in a club level room? What were your favorite benefits?