Archive for April, 2013

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

What is it about a song?  I don’t care where I am or what I’m doing, there are just some songs that scream “Vacation!” to me (including Vacation, by the GoGos)

Nearly everything by Jimmy Buffett will do.  It doesn’t matter where I’m going, Jimmy’s music puts me in the vacation mood.

Of course there’s also Kenny Chesney with Beer in Mexico or When the Sun Goes Down and the Zac Brown Band with Knee Deep.

When we are going on a cruise, we listen to cruising music – Sea Cruise, Come Sail Away, Somewhere Beyond the Sea and Sailing.  Then there’s sailaway party music – Everybody, Electric Slide and Upside Down.  Finally, there’s music for where we are going – Panama, Barcelona, Caribbean Queen.

What music puts you in that vacation mode?

Updates to the Disney Magic Announced

This information is preliminary from the press conference today but wanted to share it with you all right away.  We are following Inside the Magic with their posts.

The Disney Magic will be undergoing a major dry dock this fall.  First we will see a water slide called the Aqua Dunk.  The atrium will get a magical makeover as well.

As previously reported, Parrot Cay will become Carioca’s which will be Brazillian inspired and more upscale at night.  Animation Magic as seen on the Disney Fantasy will also be brought to Animator’s Palate on the Magic.

Oceaneer’s Club will get the Marvel Avengers Academy.

We will bring you more information as it comes available.  Who wants to cruise with us October 20, 2013 on the new Disney Magic?

Safety On The Road

In light of the Boston Marathon bombing last week, it was suggested to me to do a segment on safety while traveling.  Your safety while traveling also relates back to preparing to be safe before you leave home.  We’ll go over a few things to consider.

Let’s start with social media.  Do you share your posts with friends, friends of friends or everyone?  Be very careful when sharing your traveling plans on a social media site.  It’s definitely better if you have someone housesitting or neighbors watching your home, but think twice about who you share with before you let the world know that you will be out of town, maybe out of the country for a set period of time.

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Beware of The Fine Print

In the last two weeks, we have had clients bring something to our attention so we wanted to bring this to your attention.  I wouldn’t say it is false advertising, but it is making it look like there is a promotion when there really isn’t one.  Here is a picture of what our clients saw:


It looks like a great deal, right?  Kids Stay Free!!  However, when you read the description, it says at Art of Animation, with one adult, you can have up to 5 kids 17 and under stay for free.  This is the way it is all the time at Disney.  There isn’t ever a charge for the room when children, up to occupancy limits, stay in a room with one or two adults.  Extra charges are applicable when you have more than two adults however, but no extra charges for the room when you have children.  A similar promotion that Disney has offered in the past is the Kids Stay and Play Free, which this is not. 

I believe our clients were thinking that they would be getting tickets or a dining plan for free with this promotion, but that is not the case.  We’re happy to compare offers for you and find these inconsistencies when we see them.  Be sure to give us a copy of the promotion (or link) that you want us to compare.  Rarely will you find a promotion that is available to one travel company and not to another with Disney.

Views of Disney World

We have brought you pictures before from Leo DeCandia and we have some more.  But we also have a request.  What other pictures would you like to see?  Give me your requests and we’ll work on getting those shots for you.

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Running Events Around the Continent, Part 1

With the change in the weather, I have been a little preoccupied with getting outside.  I don’t mind the chilliness as much as I do the ice, snow and salt that winter weather entails.  Because I just want to get out and have some fun, I started thinking about what events were being offered around the continent this year.

Since the ground is a bit moist and squishy, I’m going to talk about one of the newer race genres—The Mud Run. Typically most of these are less of a distance than a classic endurance event and involve obstacles and as the name implies, some sort of mud. Not a little speckle on your shoe, either. Most Mud Run Series show pictures of participants coated and caked in mud. As with the obstacles, how muddy you actually get is dependent upon your level of daring and determination.

The only one of the featured three that I have attempted is the Muddy Buddy.

muddy-buddy-logo-squareThere are actually two types of Muddy Buddy events, a team event and a bike/run event. The team Muddy Buddy Run consists of a course 3-4½ miles in length, 5-9 obstacles and involves the pair staying together, as some of the obstacles require a team effort to complete. The Bike/Run event also involves a team, but this team does not race together until the very last obstacle, the mud pit. This event’s course is 6-7 miles and has team members alternating where one team member runs to the next obstacle, while the opposite team member bikes to it, parks the bike, completes the obstacle and then becomes the running team mate.

The Muddy Buddy Series is hosting 9 events across the United States in 2013.

In my opinion, this is a fun event that would have a challenge rating of easy or moderate for the obstacles. Participants receive an event T-shirt and bib for registering.


Another series that is gaining rapidly in popularity is the Warrior Dash. The first Warrior Dash was held in 2009. In 2013, there will be 39 Warrior Dashes across the US and Canada. The Warrior Dash is a 3-4 mile course with 8-12 obstacles. The obstacle challenges are more involved, daring and even more dangerous than in other similar events. This race can be done as an individual or as a group. All obstacles are at the participant’s discretion, although skipping one could lead to disqualification from prizes.

This looks to be an enjoyable event that would rank moderate or difficult on a challenge scale for its obstacles depending upon your physical and mental abilities. Participants receive a bib, event T-shirt, fuzzy Viking hat, finisher medal and a ‘complimentary’ glass of beer after crossing the finish line (subject to local laws and ordinances) with their registration. I would like to do this event this summer when it is near me, or maybe take a weekend trip to visit friends and do it near their place.

logo_tough-mudderThe final Mud Run event I am highlighting today is the Tough Mudder. This is the ‘granddaddy’ of them all. The Tough Mudder was designed by former British Special Forces officers to simulate the training required to join that prestigious unit. The course is 10-12 miles and 25-30 obstacles. These obstacles are not for the faint of heart. They are dangerous, if you are not prepared. Challenges involve: diving in ice cold water, up to a mile through a mud pit, live electricity, jumping from 15’+ into water, fire, tight spaces, and complete submersion under water/mud. Team participation is encouraged but not required.

This is an extremely difficult and challenging course. Although obstacles can be skipped if felt unsafe or hazardous to your health and well being. Participants receive a race bib, an event T-shirt, an event sweat band and entry into the after party with their registration. Finishers receive a complementary beer (where local laws and ordinances permit). This is an event that a group of friends and I have been discussing participating in. I do not see this on my calendar for 2013, but I could easily see it appearing by 2014 or 2015 at the latest.

What do you think about Mud Runs? If you were to do one, what type would you look to do? Would you travel for one or do one that was local? I look forward to hearing your opinions on this genre of running and sharing others in the future.

Registration proves runDisney demand is high


RunDisney opened registration to everyone on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Although the percentage of registrations didn’t sky rocket quite as fast as when they opened registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon, new Disneyland 10K and Dumbo Double Dare, they are edging on the brink of selling out in a few short hours.  The number of participants at Walt Disney World races is larger than their counterparts at Disneyland, which can make it difficult to compare directly.  Regardless of which coast, the new 10K distance is proving to be very popular.  The Disneyland 10K sold out in less than a day and the WDW “Minnie” 10K sold out in just over 7 hours.  The new challenge races (Dumbo Double Dare and the Dopey Challenge) with their extra miles, back to back racing days, and extra medals are also becoming hot ticket events. The Dumbo Double Dare (19.3 miles in two days) sold out in less than an hour.  The Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles in four days) went to above 95% capacity in less than two days.  Even the Family 5K Fun Run events for both weekends sold out in less than 48 hours; whereas in the past, it would take a few months.

Both the Disneyland 2013 Half Marathon Weekend and Walt Disney World 2014 Marathon Weekend opened their registration early.  Attendees of the WDW 2013 Marathon Weekend Expo and the Tinkerbell 2013 Half Marathon expo had the opportunity to have early registry for the Disneyland 2013 Half Marathon Weekend event.  Annual Passholders, DVC members and Disney Visa card holders were all given early opportunity to register for the WDW 2014 Marathon Weekend events.

Despite the rising cost to enter a runDisney event, they seem to be selling like hot cakes.  We will have to wait a few months to see if the hype and hysteria that have been drummed up around these races is worth it.

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