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Off to Neverland Travel® Disney Vacations Blog

Why Disney Cruise Line?

January 21st, 2010

From Dream Maker: Jennifer Lennox

Of all of the beautiful ships and amazing itineraries in the cruising industry from which to choose, what makes Disney Cruise Line® special?

I have been lucky enough to discover the Disney difference for myself. I traveled with my family, which consisted of my husband, our daughters, Brynne and SeiJin, who were respectively eight years old and nearly two and myself. From the moment we saw the port, with the giant mouse ears waiting for us, we knew we would be experiencing something special. We boarded the Disney Wonder®, breathless with excitement, and were greeted and welcomed by name as we entered. This would be a vacation to remember!

As part of our vacation package, we had just enjoyed three nights in nearby Walt Disney World®, and were now to experience four nights on one of the most magical ships afloat! From the floating cinema, running brand new movies, to the unique dining choices in which we were treated royally by the same attentive staff each evening, though in a new restaurant each time, to the jaw dropping and side splitting Broadway style shows, we were hard pressed to take it all in! The family-oriented game shows had us itching to participate, winning a pin for one daughter’s collection. And when my “big girl” was doing something that my little one could not, we danced to a Playhouse Disney Party, and explored the ship on our own, finding stolen moments with characters, such as Lilo, who sat and held her in a chair on an out-of-the-way deck.

Ah, but the very best part, in my opinion, was what awaited us on Castaway Cay! Never in all of my travels had I seen such unspoiled paradise. Disney’s private island is everything you would expect, and so much that you can’t even imagine! We snorkeled and made sandcastles, cheered the crabs in the crab races, dribbled ice cream down our bathing suits from the included-and-all-you-can-eat cones, and were photographed with Mickey, Minnie and Daisy dressed for fun at the beach! And there were so many activities that we didn’t even have time to discover!

What makes Disney different? There is the well-known Disney service, the unparalleled attention to detail, the cutting edge programs for your smallest sailors, entertainment for cruisers of all ages, as well as quiet areas for adults only, and so very much more!

Let Off to Neverland Travel® help you make your dream cruise vacation a reality! The attention to detail that you will find with our Dream Makers will give you peace of mind and our own special magic before you ever board the ship!

Book your Disney Cruise Line® Vacation today!

Fairytale Dining at Cinderella Castle

January 18th, 2010

Dining is a dream come true at Magic Kingdom® Park. Beginning Feb. 7, 2010, Fairytale Dining will be the new name for the character dining experience at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Once you enter the Castle foyer, they will have a photo opportunity with Cinderella as she welcomes you to the feast. Upstairs in the enchanted dining hall, Cinderella’s royal friends, the Disney Princesses, will mingle with you as you dine.

The current pricing structure will remain in effect. Reservations can be made by contacting your Personal Dream Maker.

Celebrate the Return of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

January 6th, 2010

Great Moments with Mr. LincolnYou now can celebrate the return of the most patriotic attraction at Disneyland® Park. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a beloved attraction for nearly 45 years and a historic landmark in the development of Audio-Animatronics® technology, has reopened in the Main Street Opera House. With a new, stunningly lifelike Abraham Lincoln figure and an enriched presentation, the refreshed attraction combines the best elements of the original Disneyland Park 1965 show and the most advanced technical enhancements. (The show first opened at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.)

The new Lincoln figure represents several major milestones. The fully electric head – a first for human Disney Audio-Animatronics figures, which are traditionally hydraulically operated – is based on an all-new sculpt that is more lifelike than in previous versions of the show. Thanks to Imagineers, Lincoln is more realistic than ever before as he rises from his chair and speaks.

Upon entering the Main Street Opera House, Guests encounter a redesigned lobby, including a separate presentation of items relating to Abraham Lincoln’s life and work. In the auditorium, Guests will first view an onscreen program about Lincoln and the Civil War that features digitally enhanced versions of pictures and sound created for past versions of the show along with fresh material. Next, the state-of-the-art figure of the 16th President of the United States will take the stage to deliver a speech composed of highlights from speeches made by Lincoln during his lifetime. When the 15-minute show concludes, Guests exit through a gallery depicting notable Americans who have followed in Lincoln’s footsteps and continue to inspire others.

Some of the latest enhancements to the show include:

  • New Audio-Animatronics technology gives Abraham Lincoln more emotion and vitality during his speech.
  • New, specially commissioned artwork by animator John Pomeroy of “Pocahontas” is on display.
  • Audiences hear the original audio voice narration that has been preserved and made sharper using digital technology.
  • The narration includes passages never heard in past Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln presentations.

Utilizing advanced technology to present Lincoln’s words for a more innovative and inspirational journey, this re-opening provides a fresh take on the nostalgic presentation.

Walt Disney World Free Gift Card 2010 Special

December 21st, 2009

When you book a 5-night/6-day (minimum) non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Company room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, you’ll get a FREE Disney Gift Card.

Gift Cards

  • FREE $300 Disney Gift Card for stays at a select Disney Value Resort, OR
  • FREE $500 Disney Gift Card for stays at a select Disney Moderate Resort, OR
  • FREE $750 Disney Gift Card for stays at a select Disney Deluxe Resort or a select Disney Deluxe Villa Resort

Booking Window:
Now through March 27, 2010

Travel Window:
Valid for stays most nights:
Jan. 3-11, Jan. 19 – March 27 and April 11 – June 3, 2010

Click here to start planning your Walt Disney World Dream Vacation!

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets must be used within 14 days of first use. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Excludes suites and campsites. One gift card per room provided at check-in.

The Pirates League at the Walt Disney World Resort

December 17th, 2009

Pirates League at the Walt Disney World Resort“Yo ho, yo ho! A pirate’s life for me!” The Pirates League is a great alternative for boys or girls who wish for a pirate inspired makeover. The Pirates League is located next to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in the Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort. I took my 7 year old son, Joel, during our recent Halloween Walt Disney World® Resort vacation. Boy, were we impressed!

First, the pirates gave him his pirate name: “Jeffery Blade Cutter” from the Pirate log, and then he had the choice of several different pirate looks. Joel and I were whisked away to the Muster Station, for applications of beards and eye patches, scarves and scars, earrings and gold teeth – all done with the savvy skill of a veteran pirate. Our pirate took the time to explain what they were doing to him and let him feel the brushes and sponges. Before you knew it he was transformed into a cursed pirate. Every time a makeover was complete the pirates would ring a bell and announce, “We have a new pirate”.

When Joel was done they made him take the sacred pirate oath. He then was taken to the secret room where the transformation was complete. He got to reveal the hidden treasure. Don’t ask, we were sworn to secrecy! No cameras are allowed in the secret room.
You can choose from three daily pirate packages:

  • First Mate Package: Includes bandana; choice of facial effects; scars; tattoos; fake teeth; earring and eye patch; sword and sheath; pirate coin necklace; one 5×7-inch photo; and personalized pirate oath. – $49.95 USD plus tax
  • Empress Package: Includes bandana; shimmering makeup; face gem; tattoos; nail polish; earring and eye patch; sword and sheath; pirate coin necklace; one 5×7-inch photo; and personalized pirate oath. – $49.95 USD plus tax
  • Captains Package: Includes choice of costume/outfit from selection; choice of facial effects; scars; tattoos; fake teeth; earring and eye patch; sword and sheath; pirate coin necklace; three 5×7-inch photos; and personalized pirate oath. – $124.95 USD plus tax
Contact your Dream Maker to help you plan The Pirates League makeover for your little buccaneer!

(*Prices subject to change without notice. For ages 3 and up. Theme park admission required. Open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reservations recommended.)

Behind the Scenes: The Making of ‘Villains Tonight!’ New Disney Cruise Line Show

December 14th, 2009

Enjoy this latest video from Disney about the making of “Villans Tonight,” a new show set to debut in March on the Disney Magic®.

Disney Gallery Reopens in a New Location

December 7th, 2009

Disney Gallery in Disneyland CaliforniaThe Disney Gallery has reopened at Disneyland® Park in its new location on Main Street, U.S.A.® (previously occupied by the Bank of Main Street).

While the location may be new, the remodeled Disney Gallery continues the outstanding tradition of showcasing original and one-of-a-kind Disney artwork and collectibles to Theme Park Guests. The new design maintains some of the unique elements of the former bank, including the popular bank vault, which is now used to display select pieces of historical Disney artwork.

In addition to the vault, the Disney Gallery is now made up of three separate rooms: two large display rooms and a merchandise room. The display rooms feature historic Walt Disney Imagineering conceptual art created during the development and enhancement stages of attractions and Disney-inspired art created by current and former Disney artists and Imagineers. Guests visiting the merchandise portion of the Disney Gallery will have the opportunity to purchase Disney prints (including on-the-spot prints from Print on Demand), sculptures, books and many other collectibles from popular Disney attractions and animated features.

The first exhibit on display at the new Disney Gallery location is “Enchanting the Classics.” This exhibit focuses on how artists at Walt Disney Imagineering have kept beloved Disneyland Resort® attractions such as the Submarine Voyage, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and “it’s a small world” fresh and exciting over the years with enhancements and surprises.

Traveling To The Walt Disney World Resort with an Autistic Child

November 19th, 2009

Autistic Child in Disney WorldFrom Dream Maker – Traci Elswick:  Is it possible to have a magical Walt Disney World® vacation with an autistic child? With a lot of planning, and a bit of pixie dust thrown in by our Dream Makers, it is. I have planned eight magical vacations to the Walt Disney World® Resort for my 13-year-old autistic son. I have seen vast improvements with my son while at the Walt Disney World® Resort. His language skills seem to improve. He copes well with the large crowds and loud noises, and he actually “lives in the moment.” In fact, I’m certain that our yearly pilgrimage to the Walt Disney World® Resort is something my son looks forward to every year.

First you need to consider where you want to stay onsite or off. If your budget allows, I suggest you stay onsite, preferably at one of the Disney resorts that are on the Monorail line or one of Disney’s Boardwalk resorts. The Monorail resorts give you easy access to the Magic Kingdom® Park and EPCOT®. The resorts along Disney’s Boardwalk give you boat access to EPCOT® and Disney Hollywood Studios™. If your child has trouble waiting in long lines or traveling on crowded buses, the Monorail or Disney’s Boardwalk resorts will make traveling between parks much easier for you. If you are looking for value, try to stay at the Disney’s Pop Century Resort. This resort is separate from the other value resorts and has its own bus line. Also, request a room close to the bus stop. If possible, try to avoid Disney’s All-Star Resorts. They share a common bus routes, have long wait times, and are often overcrowded.

Before you depart for your Walt Disney World® Resort vacation, obtain a signed note from your child’s pediatrician or psychiatrist stating your child’s disability and further stating that your child cannot wait in lines. When you arrive at the park, go directly to Guest Services in order to obtain your Guest Assistance Card. A Guest Assistance Card can be used for your entire party, and will dramatically shorten your party’s wait in lines.

How long should you spend in the parks every day? Nobody knows your child better than you. I suggest that all families who stay in a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel take an afternoon break. That way your child can take a nap or a swim and you can have a relaxing family dinner. You can book your dining up to 180 days before your trip, and it is advisable to book your dining early because many of most popular restaurants fill up quickly. After dinner, you can do Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours are available for individuals who stay at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel and generally allow you to remain in the park for a number of hours after the park closes to the general public.

So what are you waiting for? You’ve waited so long to experience the magic of a Walt Disney World® Resort vacation with your child!

Disney Dream – New Disney Cruise Ship – Now Open for 2011 Bookings

November 9th, 2009

Starting today, you can book your next Disney Cruise onboard Disney’s newest ship, the Disney Dream™.  Click here to learn more.

The new Disney Dream™ will take family cruising to all-new heights, embracing the spirit of innovation, magical entertainment and immersive experiences that have made Disney Cruise Line® the preeminent cruise of choice for families since 1998.

For the majority of 2011, the new ship will alternate three- and four-night sailings. During the summer months, the ship will alternate four- and five-night itineraries. The schedule also includes special five-night holiday cruises during Christmas and New Year’s.

The Disney Dream™ will introduce a number of cruise-industry firsts and family-friendly innovations designed to make your experience even more magical. Among the highlights:

Disney Dream AquaDuck Slide
  • AquaDuck Disney Cruise Line® debuts the first-ever shipboard water coaster! This exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids — all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.
  • Virtual Porthole – A cruise-industry first for all inside staterooms! Virtual Portholes offer a “window” to the world with a real-time view outside the ship using high-definition cameras. As you observe the view, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters like Mickey Mouse may pop by the Virtual Porthole.
  • Enchanted Art — Around the atrium lobby and throughout the ship, Enchanted Art will immerse you in Disney storytelling in a completely new way. Enchanted Art magically comes alive as you pause to admire individual pieces.
  • Living Characters — In youth spaces, Disney Characters come to life and interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences. Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo,” or the mischievous animated alien Stitch make scheduled appearances to chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed conversations.

Disney World Dining Caters to Everyone – Special Needs Dining

November 5th, 2009

Disney World Vacation - Infant Looking at MenuFrom Dream Maker – Kip Dennis:  Anyone who has visited the Walt Disney World® Resort in the past can tell you about their excellent dining options. From the ethnic restaurants in the World Showcase at EPCOT®, to the class act dinner theater like Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and the one-of-a kind restaurants like 50’s Prime Time Café, there is something for everyone. But when you have a dietary restriction, you may think that you choices are limited. With the MAGIC of Disney it is actually quite the opposite.

While recently traveling with someone with a food allergy, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of service provided. When placing my advance dining reservations (ADRs), I notified the cast member of the allergy. All of my reservations were noted to alert the staff of the extra care needed. Just let your personal Dream Maker know of your special needs and they will communicate those to Disney. They can also provide you with additional information relating to your restrictions including suggested restaurants that will be able to best meet your needs.

At our table service meals, our waiter/waitress told us that their chef would be out to talk about our particular dietary need. Each chef went to great lengths to ensure a meal was made without any allergen contamination. If it was a buffet meal, the chef escorted him around to identify “safe” foods.

For counter service, we just notified the cast member at the order podium of our restriction. They once again notified a manager to come and consult us on what our available options were.

The Special Dietary program at Disney is just another example of how Disney continues to provide great service to their guests.

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