Saturday Blog Showcase: 365 Days at Disney

So, to be fair, I have KIND OF showcased this blog before, but not on Saturday Blog Showcase. And it had just started at the time so it deserves a revisit!

What, you may ask, does the name mean? 365 Days At Disney? What’s that about? Well, it comes from the blogger (Wes)’s desire to spend a year at Walt Disney World and write about it.  The plan is still in development, but that was the impetus for the blog: to figure out the logistics of spending a year at WDW, without actually moving permanently to Florida, and spending at least part of every day in at least one park.

So I followed for this, to see how that would go.  The blog has meanwhile blossomed upwards into a more widely-varying Disney blog, with thoughts on quite a lot of different topics.  Not just movie reviews and those kinds of things, but “When should you take your young children to see Frozen“. Not just “How I plan a trip to Disney” but “Surviving Someone Else’s Disney Trip“, which is itself an odd kind of planning post.

Wes has currently quite a few things going on in his personal life so the blog updates are not all that regular, but look at ME and you’ll see why I can’t talk. 🙂  What is there is great, and it is worth checking back for updates, whenever they may come!  Particularly because Wes IS still actively interested in the blog and has some great plans for 2014!

If you are interested in helping him out with his efforts to actually accomplish the title of the blog, let him know. More support, the better!  Tell him I sent you and I will get absolutely nothing in return, but it makes me sound pretty impressive! 😉

Advertisements

Saturday Blog Showcase: Get Ready For Disney

Guess what? I found a new blog! 😀

Well, lots of blogs are new to me… heck, I’m still finding out about blogs that have been around for years. Because I’m like that.  This one, though, actually is new – just started in 2014!  The downside is that there are only 6 entries so far, but the blog is consistently updated (look at my blog and shake your head disapprovingly… go on, shake it, that’s OK) and the topics are great.

The point of the blog is to get you ready for your next trip and answer questions you may have. The writer definitely writes opinion pieces though (which, as we all know if we follow my Saturday Blog write-ups, is a favourite thing of mine).  Obviously, review posts are opinions automatically, but I love it when you get a bit of personality into a review or just a general blog news post.  Yes indeedy, we have that here!

I think what really caught my eye was the most recent post, about Fort Wilderness… which, as we again all know, is among my favourite resorts and I camped there on my last trip!  My visits have always been tent camping, and I don’t get to spend as much time in the actual resort as I would like since they’re always short trips; this post has a perspective of a cabin visit, which I have never done, and it lists all the recreational activities at Fort Wilderness. Or at least, most of them; it’s true that there might be more. 🙂

Other topics include informational posts, such as the 2014 Disney Dining Plan list of participating restaurants; tips, like on using FastPass for the Be Our Guest lunch; and funny little mini-posts like “Here’s Your Ears!”  There are also subpages of the blog, including planning info, reviews of hotels, dining, recent Disney news, and some Frequently Asked Questions.  Still new, as I said, but clearly with some great plans and potential for growth!

Visit Get Ready For Disney here today and check back often for new content!

Saturday Blog Showcase: Living A Disney Life

Well, and aren’t we all? (To varying degrees, probably most of you reading are.  Some, perhaps not. I could have a bit more but – wait, what am I doing? NOT the point of the post, Rebecca.)

Today’s blog showcase focuses on a blog by Lisa Green, Living a Disney Life, which has been a pleasure to discover and dip into! Lisa is every bit as Disney obsessed as so many of us are – and let’s face it, if you are looking for Disney blogs to read, you probably are at least a LITTLE obsessed – and she updates frequently, with LOTS of information.  A DVC member and frequent Disney visitor/cruiser, Lisa is “Empty nesting with pixie dust” and her posts range a wide variety of topics.  I am jealous, her posts range such a variety!

A quick glance over the first three pages of her blog will give you reviews of old Disney vinyl soundtrack albums, GREAT first-person experience reports on cruises, a list of recommended podcasts (there are so many great ones! I think I’ve only heard half of the ones she lists), Disney Dining tips, and firsthand information on MyMagic+… 2 out of 3 parts of this have been posted so far and I’m linking to part 2, because it links to part 1.

And that’s actually not even everything you can find!  I jumped around a bit to keep you guessing. 🙂

Best part, the informative posts are written simply but expressively, and Lisa is not afraid to weigh in with her own opinion as well.  Until I was digging around the blog, I had NO idea it’s only a few months old.  It reads like a seasoned site that has been around for a while and earned its ears (as they like to say); this one is definitely on my follow list and I hope it pops onto yours, as well. 🙂

Saturday Blog Showcase: Disney For Five+

To Disney, the average family coming to visit their resorts  is two parents and two kids.  You can see this reflected in their price estimates when they are marketing offers (family of four – always, family of four) and in the fact that relatively few of their resorts, outside of the Deluxe Villas, can accommodate more than 4 in all, unless the fifth is an infant.

And this is fine; this is standard. But just because they operate on the default assumption that you’re going to be coming with four people or less, that doesn’t mean that Disney is necessarily hard to navigate if you have more people.  It does, though, mean that it’s good to have resources and advice from someone who regularly does navigate with five or more, and that is where today’s Saturday Blog Showcase comes in.

Heather’s Disney For Five + is, first of all, written by a mother of three – so there is plenty of first-person experience.  Heather says that she is not only sharing her own experiences, but actively seeking input from other larger families, so if this mirrors your experience and you haven’t found her blog before now I’m sure she’d LOVE to hear from you – and you can only have a great time checking out her blog to begin with. 🙂

Much of the content on Heather’s blog is in the form of reviews (like this one for Be Our Guest, or this one for All-Star Music Resort), announcements of news (and breakdowns of the promos), which can apply to anyone travelling to Walt Disney World so don’t write the blog off just because you say “Eh, I only have one kid, I won’t have anything to read.”  Not that I think anyone would say that but y’know what I mean. 😉  One of the other reasons why I recommend Disney For Five + is because, as with so many of the blogs I showcase, I love her writing style.

I also love her choice of content.  I don’t mention it much but Mousekeeping (the term used for the housekeeping staff on Disney properties) are generally wonderful and if you have a great experience, they deserve to hear about it.  The latest post as of this writing is an entry on Mousekeeping and ways to show them some love if the person tending to your room goes above and beyond with a bit of extra pixie dust.  Another recent entry is a glowing review for Gaston’s Tavern that makes me crave pork. 😀

Unlike some of us bloggers (ME), Heather is able to keep many of her posts short and to the point, so you’ll get some nice bite-sized entries, easy to keep up with.  Definitely put her on your follow list, and enjoy!

Hopefully I will see you next week with another inconsistently-scheduled Saturday Blog Showcase! 😀

Saturday Blog Showcase: Kasey Knows Orlando

Returning yet again from a temporary hiatus (I need to recover from my vacation! :P) it’s the always hugely popular Saturday Blog Showcase!  I have a backlog of blogs… that sounds neat!… which I have to cover, but I’m skipping slightly ahead this weekend to showcase a nifty informational blog that just started and needs some attention.

Kasey Knows Orlando is written by a longtime Orlando resident with an interest in helping vacationers get the most out of their Orlando vacations, particularly those at Disney World (and Universal and Sea World fit in there too)!  Kasey is, speaking personally, a very sweet person who loves to help others and spread her enthusiasm for Disney and Orlando in general!  She’s got some great insider tips, suggestions for details you might not think of, and she’s also blogging with Orlando Informer for some added bonuses. 😀

The end result is that there is a variety of information on Kasey Knows Orlando. Only every 3rd or 4th post is Disney, on average; in between are articles on Discovery Cove, Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and even additional posts on things like finding Orlando in Las Vegas!  But my favourites are the Disney World posts, and I’ll tell you why: because they pick a few “off the beaten trail” topics and run with them.

A blog, in my opinion, needs to have something to set it apart in order to survive.  If you’re going to be general information, you need to do a GREAT job keeping up with the news and information as it comes out, and present it properly. (We can tell, I fail at that one.)  If you’re going to be opinion-based, you do best to have a solid and engaging writing style to keep people interested in reading your opinions.  And if you’re going to do travel tips, you probably shouldn’t have a blog limited to things like “Did you know you can skip the main lines at a lot of Disney World attractions by using FastPass?” 😉

Instead Kasey focuses on things like “Free Things to do at Disney Deluxe Resorts“, or a “Survival Guide to New Fantasyland“, or my current favourite, “Unique Quick-Service Restaurants at Disney World“.  Why is this last so cool?   Because there are a number of unique counter service restaurants, but it’s also easy to fail to realize they are there if you aren’t planning out your menus in advance.  Out of Kasey’s recommendations, I’ve eaten at Tangeriene Café in Epcot (it’s delish!), Fairfax Fare and Backlot Express at Hollywood Studios, and Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom.  And they are ALL good 😀

I hope you’ll check out Kasey’s blog and visit regularly for tips and insights you may not see any place else. 🙂  Have fun! (Tell them I sent you! No, you don’t really have to do that, it wouldn’t do anything.  No free pie or anything.)

Saturday Blog Showcase: The Pixie Dust Princess

Good morning and happy Saturday! (and if either one of those is not true for you right now, just pretend I didn’t say it! ^_~)  We’ve made it to another weekend!  To celebrate, I want to take this week’s Saturday Blog Showcase to spotlight something worth celebrating: positivity!

I bet sometimes you just feel run down, tired, sad for no reason. I think everybody feels that way sometimes.  You’re worn out, stressed, cranky, and it seems like there’s nothing to smile about.  When you feel like that, a WONDERFUL Disney blog to visit is The Pixie Dust Princess where you can go to get “A Pinch of Positivity” and just a general positive attitude!

I can’t tell you how much I need to read posts like these sometimes.  Well, like I said, I think everyone just feels run down sometimes and needs a little extra pixie dust.  Sometimes just a good mood, a smile and some optimistic words are infectious.  That’s why I like this blog so much; everything is presented with a smile, with excitement and anticipation!  The author, the “PD Princess” to shorten it a bit ;), posts reviews of Disneyana and talks about news of upcoming events, and always with enthusiasm and love of Disney; I love her posts about Fall (also my favourite season!) and about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, since both of them get me excited for the season as well!  Okay – it doesn’t hurt that I’m already looking forward to both, but regardless, sharing the excitement just makes more excitement!

But my real favourite thing is PD Princess’s dedication to positivity in general.  This post, just about keeping a positive attitude and finding ways to take your life in your own hands and make it the way you want it (like a true Disney Princess!), is one of my favourite posts of all time.  Sometimes, everyone needs a reminder that you make your own future and you can make it as good as you want it to be.  Everyone needs a reminder that life can be hard for everyone but positivity and a belief in yourself can pull you through.

The blog is updated approximately on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule and I recommend checking it out.  Unless you’re married to cynicism, you’ll probably find something to make you smile. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Saturday Blog Showcase: At Disney With Emily

Today’s Blog Showcase is about a passion, not an obsession!  At Disney With Emily is run by a UK Disney World fan who makes it out to Florida whenever she can, and all things considered she’s got a pretty good track record. 😉  She has made 10 trips in the past 15 years (that’s in contrast with me, I have made 5 in 18 years :P) and has built up a good deal of experience and knowledge. And passion. 😀

 

Emily’s take on the blogosphere is to post a main blog post with her own speculations and topics each Wednesday, and to answer questions from readers and friends on other days of the week as they come up.  One of the Wednesday posts was a neat one about “WDW Over 15 Years“, reflecting on all the changes since her first visit in 1998 until now; this is a great retrospective and one that many infrequent visitors probably don’t think about. I went once in the 90s – in 1995 – and didn’t go again until 2004, so I dont’ remember half of the things that were different on my first visit.  Emily, thanks to going more often than I, provides a really good reflection on the changes. 🙂  This past week she took a poll on the favourite park of the WDW fandom at large (as represented by a random polling on Twitter) and I am betting her results are a good representation of reality.

 

So this is a new blog, really still in process of starting up, but sending in questions and comments will definitely help it to grow!  I love getting in on the “ground floor” of blogs and getting to watch them grow, and At Disney With Emily is off to a great start.  Give a portion of your Saturday up to get to know this blog!

Saturday Blog Showcase: Plus the Magic

First thought: I need a logo for this blog.  However, there is a chance that this blog might be undergoing some changes sometime in the near future so I guess I’ll hold off on that. Hm.  At this point I probably shouldn’t have said anything… Moving on!

All right. All my efforts at keeping up with blog updates here have come to naught because I just don’t have the time to read them all and report on what’s what. Clearly I am not going to be that kind of a blog. And that’s okay! I’m still trying to find my “voice” and purpose and things. Other than, you know, YAY DISNEY PARKS and all that stuff. 😉

But I definitely do want to show some love to fellow bloggers, and there are quite a lot worth celebrating! So on Saturdays I’m going to do Showcases – pick out one blog and talk about why I love it and why you ought to check it out. I’m not going to go in order of preference, or anything like that. It’s totally at random. I don’t really have an order of preference. ^^;

Today I’m going to start with a blog I discovered fairly recently and which I really like: KJ’s Plus the Magic. KJ has an engaging writing style and I find her posts and her perpsectives really relatable, which is a huge prerequisite for me on blogs. I always prefer opinions over straight news reporting (maybe you can tell from my own blog, haha) and KJ is big on reminiscing on her own experiences and viewpoints which I like. I feel there’s a lot of insight to that. Actually you’ll probably find that this is a theme in most of the blogs I’ll showcase. 😉

Here’s the blog mission statement:

When Walt Disney wanted to get his team to go further, reach higher, make something great even a little bit better- he’d tell them to “plus it”. Plussing it means giving more than what’s expected, taking things a step further, and then a step further beyond that. It means providing those unexpected extras that make Disney unlike anyplace else. What are some ways that Disney “plusses the magic”? And how can we plus the magic ourselves? Join in as we share these and other magical musings…

KJ’s a regular participant in Wordless Wednesdays, when Disney bloggers put up a photo that fits a particular theme.  I love hers, they are always interesting!  My favourite recent post has been one about planning, including a few resources KJ uses, and a little bit about packing.  Yeah, about packing.  Because … I love to pack for Disney World.  It’s like a Thing, you know?  A special Thing, thinking about what you’ll need, how you’ll use it, how you can maximize space… I, uh, I may be slightly OCD. 😛

Bottom line: Check out Plus the Magic today and tell KJ that Rebecca from Disney With Me sent you!  Or, you know, don’t tell her anything, but go read anyway!