Disney Vacation Club Member

Now I have only 35 days until heading to Walt Disney World. While there I will be staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. I am a Disney Vacation Club Member, and Old Key West is my home resort. When I check in, I will be greeted, “Welcome, home!” And after all this time, it does feel like home away from home. It is so Florida-looking with palm trees and waterways every little while. It smells like citrus and suntan lotion and vacation. It feels warm and mild and, depending on the time of year, muggy. I love it!

Here’s some of what Disney has to say about Disney Vacation Club:

Disney Vacation Club is a vacation ownership program—or timeshare—that helps you stay close to the magic. As a Member, you can enjoy a more cost-effective way of taking Disney vacations.

Membership & How It Works

To become a Member, you purchase a real estate interest in a Disney Vacation Club Resort. This is your Home Resort.

Your real estate interest is represented by an annual allotment of Vacation Points. You’ll use your Vacation Points to reserve accommodations in one of the many vacation destinations available to Members.

Vacation Destinations
As a Member, you can enjoy access to accommodations at your Home Resort or another Disney Vacation Club Resort. You can also choose from thousands of other vacation options in destinations around the world.

Home Resort Priority
At your Home Resort, you can take advantage of the Home Resort Priority Period, which allows you to make reservations 11 months in advance. Members who do not have an ownership interest at that Resort can book up to 7 months in advance. (*This is why I held out until I could purchase my points at Old Key West. It is my favorite resort. It has the largest rooms, and the most laid back atmosphere.)

Vacation Points & Booking Flexibility
With more Vacation Points, you can enjoy extra flexibility when planning vacations. If you’re thinking of becoming a Member, you’ll want to consider the number of Vacation Points that’s right for your vacation lifestyle.

Value & Savings

Disney Vacation Club offers value and potential savings on accommodations as you enjoy Disney vacations for years to come.

Value
By becoming a Member, you are locking in today’s purchase price. You can use your Membership to enjoy decades of future stays at Disney Vacation Club Resorts, which feature spacious 1-Bedroom Villas, 2-Bedroom Villas and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas that offer many of the comforts of home.

Savings
Members can save up to 50% on future Disney Vacation Club Resort accommodations over the life of the Membership.

Why Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Heritage
Disney Vacation Club celebrates the heritage, traditions and values that began with Walt Disney himself. The Disney difference begins with a unique sales approach and continues throughout the lifetime of your Membership—whether you’re on a vacation or planning your next trip.

A Personalized Sales Experience
Enjoy a personalized experience with a knowledgeable Disney Vacation Club Guide—a helpful resource for you as you research Membership. They’re happy to answer any questions you may have about Disney Vacation Club and how it can work for your family.

Disney Vacations
As a Member, you can look forward to magical vacations in Disney destinations. Highlights include:

  • Accommodations at uniquely-themed Disney Vacation Club Resorts designed by Disney Imagineers—with spacious villas that offer many of the comforts of home
  • Convenient proximity to Disney theme parks at most Disney Vacation Club Resorts 
  • Service that exemplifies the Disney standard of excellence

Enjoy the freedom to choose when, where and how often you vacation! As a Disney Vacation Club Member, you’ll receive an annual allotment of Vacation Points (“Points”), which represent your real estate interest in a Disney Vacation Club Resort. You’ll use Points to book your accommodations—and you’re never locked in to a specific Resort, time of year, type of accommodations or length of stay.

We go every three years by banking one year’s points and borrowing one years points. That way we have three years of points to use on out vacations. It allows us a bigger space for a longer amount of time.

One of the best things about being a DVC member is you have access to Member Services. I have always had great service from them. But today I ran into a snag. I had emailed them to reserve Magical Express for Jake, Eliza and Linnie. They emailed me back saying they could only help DVC Members, and I was not a member. Imagine my surprise…I’ve been a member now since 2010. So after I calmed down, I called Member Services. The gentleman I spoke with was wonderful. He was able to straighten everything out, and assured me that all was well with my membership status. Whew! It is a 40 year membership, so I figure I have 32 years left on the contract. (I know, I know, I probably won’t live to be 94 years old, but the kids can use it.)

Anyway, I highly recommend membership in Disney Vacation Club. I love it; I use it, I recommend it!

Meet me at the Kingdom!

Donna

Advertisements

Disney’s Magical Express

Wow! There are just 36 days to go now until my next trip to Walt Disney World. I booked Disney’s Magical Express for the rest of our travel party today. I love this service! It means you enter a Disney bubble right at the airport, and we plan to stay in that bubble until that same Magical (Tragical) Bus takes us back to the airport eight days later.

I realize this is a genius idea on Disney’s part. It keeps us staying at Disney hotels, and it keeps us on property, rather than heading out to explore other area attractions. I don’t care, and I don’t feel manipulated at all. I love the convenience. In the days before this service existed, it was always a hassle and an extra expense to get from the airport to our hotel and from our hotel to the airport. Now we head for the bus, and our Disney adventure has begun.

Here’s some of what Disney has to say about it:

Start and end your stay with complimentary motorcoach transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, with complimentary luggage delivery. 

Let Us Magically Whisk You Away

Board a motorcoach at Orlando International Airport and we’ll transport you and your baggage to your Disney Resort hotel.

When you reserve Disney’s Magical Express, you can begin your vacation the moment you step off the plane. Domestic passengers can bypass baggage claim and all Guests can avoid the inconvenience and cost of driving or finding ground transportation. With this special benefit of staying at select Disney Resort hotels, you’ll get from the airport to your accommodations in comfort and have your bags delivered directly to your room. You’ll also enjoy a complimentary ride back to Orlando International Airport on the day you check out of your Disney Resort hotel.

Disney’s Magical Express Information and Luggage Tags
After you’ve made your reservation, information about Disney’s Magical Express—including luggage tags—will be mailed to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to your arrival. Please attach Disney’s Magical Express luggage tags to each bag that you plan on checking that you would like delivered to your Resort hotel room.

If you did not receive your luggage tags prior to leaving home and are scheduled to arrive in Orlando between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM, you can simply provide your baggage claim numbers upon arrival at Disney’s Magical Express, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Please Do Not Pack MagicBands in Checked Luggage
Remember not to pack your MagicBands in your checked luggage, as they will be used to check in with Disney’s Magical Express and to unlock your room when you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel.

If you have not received your MagicBand, please be prepared to present your Disney’s Magical Express documents (which will be mailed separately to you) to board the motorcoach. You will receive your MagicBand upon arrival at your Disney Resort hotel.

Before leaving home we recommend you view and print a map of Orlando International Airport, including the location of Disney’s Magical Express.

Please have your MagicBand easily accessible upon your arrival at Disney’s Magical Express.

Arrival

Domestic Arrivals
Take the train from your arrival gate to the main terminal. You will be on Level 3. Between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM, head directly to Disney’s Magical Express, located in the Ground Transportation Area on Side B, Level 1. Disney will claim your checked baggage for you and deliver it directly to your Resort hotel room via our luggage delivery service. Between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM, you will need to claim your own baggage on Level 2.

Guests arriving on Side A of the airport are advised to cross to Side B before proceeding down to Level 1. Upon arrival at Disney’s Magical Express please let us know if you will need assistance boarding the motorcoach.

International Arrivals
Upon exiting your aircraft, you will enter the U.S. Immigration checkpoint. Please have your passport and any required documents available for inspection. After retrieving your luggage, proceed to the Customs checkpoint.

When exiting the Customs area you may keep your checked bags with you to travel on the motorcoach or—between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM—you may use Disney’s luggage delivery service. To take advantage of this complimentary service, simply return your checked luggage to the transfer carousel following the immigration and customs process. Disney will claim your baggage and deliver it to your Resort hotel.

Take the train to the main terminal building where you will arrive on Level 3. Disney’s Magical Express is located on Side B, Level 1. Guests arriving on Side A of the airport are advised to cross to Side B before proceeding down to Level 1. Upon arrival, please let us know if you will need assistance boarding the motorcoach.

Luggage Delivery Between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM

Disney’s Magical Express includes complimentary luggage delivery from Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort hotel room between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM.

While you ride the Disney Magical Express motorcoach to your Resort hotel, your baggage will be transported separately and delivered directly to your room.

Be sure to keep any medications, essential items, and valuables with you. Bypass baggage claim in the main terminal and proceed directly to Disney’s Magical Express located on Side B, Level 1. Be prepared to provide your airline baggage claim numbers so Disney can collect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Resort hotel.

Be advised, your luggage will travel separately from you and may take up to 3 hours after you arrive at your hotel to be delivered to your room.

And there is so much more information available at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/magical-express.
Meet me at the Kingdom.
Donna

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Just 37 days now until we head for Walt Disney World. Woo hoo!

I can’t remember if the kids rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant when they were younger, but I know that I didn’t. I’d like to try it this time, if I can muster up the courage. I am afraid of heights, so it’s a scary thought.

Dumbo, the movie, holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always loved it. He is so sweet, and strong in spite of all the bullying that he experiences. Great message, great movie! My kids won’t watch it; I used to sing “Baby Mine” to them when they were little. I had to stop, because it would make them cry. It is a very moving seen when Dumbo’s mama cradles him in her truck and sings that song. But I love it. The love seems so pure and real to me.

Anyway, here’s what Disney has to say about the ride:

Soar high in the sky on a whimsical flight over Storybook Circus aboard Dumbo the Flying Elephant. 

A Dumbo gondola flies high at Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Magic Kingdom park

Take Flight

Hop atop Dumbo and take off into the air on a joyful journey amid the jubilant sounds of carnival music. Based on Disney’s 1941 animated classic Dumbo, Dumbo the Flying Elephant invites you to accompany everybody’s favorite circus elephant as he discovers his unique ability to fly.

Dumbo’s faithful friend Timothy Q. Mouse greets you from the arched entry, directing the action with help from his “magic” feather. As a jovial band organ melody begins, Dumbo gracefully lifts off from the ground and magically begins to fly around and around.

How High Will You Fly?
During your aerial adventure, you can direct Dumbo to soar skyward or fly low by moving the handle inside the Dumbo-themed gondola. Feel the wind in your face as you take in the sweeping views of Storybook Circus below.

Twice the Fun
This isn’t your everyday flight of fancy. This breezy attraction features 2 sets of rotating elephants moving in opposite directions as they fly through the air high above Fantasyland.

A boy looks up with delight while in the wait area for Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction

Play Before You Ride

A circus-themed play area keeps the little ones having fun before taking flight. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a pager that “virtually” holds your place in line. Step inside the big-top tent and enjoy an air-conditioned playground complete with slides, climbing net, and even a toddler section. Kids of all ages will love to be part of the circus show as parents relax in ample seating.

Since we have Fastpass+ for the ride, we will bypass the playground; however, if time and willingness come together, then we may enter the stand-by line just to play in the air-conditioned playground for awhile.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Jungle Cruise

In 38 days we head to Florida and Walt Disney World. I can hardly wait! These trips are always about the people for me. When we remember these vacations, I always place them by saying things like, “Oh, yeah, that’s the one where Jenny and Juni, and Jonathan and Robin and the boys came along.” or “Right, Grandma and Grandpa were there that time.” Now, because we have fewer points and it takes a few more points to book things, we wait and go every three years. And we just include our kids and grandkids. Did I say just? It will be glorious to have those people around the same table, sharing the same Villa, within arms reach. Be still my heart!

This will not be the first time we’ve ridden Jungle Cruise. Mike, Jake, Emi and I rode it years ago with my mom, dad and my Aunt Phyllis. It will be the first time for James, Eliza, Ida and Linnie. I remember it being so corny, in the best way, and so fun! Here’s what Disney has to say:

Set sail for high adventure on a scenic boat tour of the most exotic and exciting rivers across Asia, Africa and South America.

A fierce tiger bares its teeth in the dark jungle

Go Wild

Embark on a cruise where hippos, elephants and maybe even a headhunter await your arrival.

Trek to a forgotten tropical jungle outpost—home to suspended cargo nets, wooden crates and lanterns—and board a canopied tramp steamer for a tongue-in-cheek adventure led by a trusty skipper through some of the world’s most treacherous rivers.

A True-Life Adventure
During your 10-minute journey, encounter awesome wonders of nature amid some of the world’s most exotic locales. Highlights of your adventure include:

• The Amazon in South America
Drift past a canopy of green trees and flowering orchids where giant butterflies meet rushing waterfalls.

• The African Congo
Tour an abandoned Pygmy site, glimpse a massive python and snap a picture of a camp overrun by curious gorillas.

• The Nile River 
Behold bathing elephants, angry hippos and hungry lions—but be on the lookout for a tribe of headhunters, recently spotted in the area.

• The Mekong River 
Explore an age-old shrine, home to baboons, cobras and other wild creatures.

Along the way, take in lively narration from your friendly skipper, known for a brave heart and a clever joke… or two. It´s a ride you won’t soon forget!

The dock, shack and surrounding area outside the Jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland

Early Journeys

The original Jungle Cruise opened in 1955 at Disneyland Park. Based on Disney’s award-winning True-Life Adventure films, Jungle Cruise premiered with a more serious and educational tone. In the early 1960s, however, Walt Disney decided to introduce more drama and lighthearted scenes and asked one of his most accomplished animators, Marc Davis, to sketch some humorous gags.

Today, the attraction exists at Disney theme parks around the world, except Disneyland Paris, and is considered a favorite among Guests.

It’ll be great for the little ones, because it’s just a gentle boat ride with nothing too dark or scary.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Who’s who for reference:

  • Mike-my husband
  • Jake-my son
  • Eliza-Jake’s wife
  • Linnie-Jake and Eliza’s daughter, 🙂 my granddaughter
  • Emi-my daughter
  • James-Emi’s husband
  • Ida-Emi and James’s daughter, 🙂 my granddaughter
  • Jenny-Mike’s niece
  • Juni-Mike’s niece
  • Jonathan-Mike’s brother
  • Robin-Jonathan’s wife

Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater

There are only 39 days until our trip to Walt Disney World now. Each day I get just a little more excited. “Anticipation, anticipa-ya-tion, is making me wait…keeping me wai-ai-ai-ai-aiting…” I’m excited about seeing Emi’s family again. It will only have been five months since I saw them, ten months since Mike, Jake and Eliza saw them. Too long. AND…Emi, James and Ida get to meet Linnie; that’s just the best!

Anyway, this time we got a Fastpass+ to Meet Mickey in Town Square Theater. I’ve always wanted to do this with the family, so this is a real bucket-list item for me. A chance to hug the Big Cheese!

Here’s what Disney has to say about it.

Go backstage as a special guest of your pal, Mickey. 

Master Magician Mickey grabs his cape while onstage at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom park

Go Behind the Curtain

Mickey Mouse is in his rehearsal room, ready to meet his biggest fans. Discover props and posters from Mickey’s magical career in the theater and maybe even spot a disappearing dove or a rabbit coming out of a hat. The greatest magic of all happens when you get a hug from Mickey Mouse himself.

A mom, daughter, dad and son smile while posing with a magician-themed Mickey at Magic Kingdom park

Bring Home Memories with Character

Let your moments with favorite Disney Characters last long after your visit by purchasing Memory Maker—which features unlimited digital downloads of all your Disney PhotoPass photos and videos!

We do have Memory Maker, too, so I look forward to all those Photographers snapping us! We’ll be looking for those special shots, where characters magically appear in your photos.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

 

Frozen Ever After

Now it’s just 40 days to go until our Walt Disney World trip. It’s so fun to experience it creeping closer.

Another new ride for us is Frozen Ever After at EPCOT. We rode it when it was Maelstrom, and it was an EPCOT favorite of mine. But since we were last there, it has changed to a Frozen theme. This will be fun! Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

Hoist the sails in Arendelle aboard an ancient Norwegian vessel as you set out into the wondrous wintery world of Frozen! 

A smiling Princess Anna hugs a little girl

Embark on Adventure in Arendelle

Come and celebrate a very special “Summer Snow Day” with Queen Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and friends.

Welcome to Frozen Ever After, an unforgettable adventure where you’ll be whisked away for an on-the-water journey through Arendelle—one set to the tune of your favorite songs from Frozen!

Let It Go All Over Again

The adventure begins on the docks of Arendelle, as seen in the classic animated film. After finding a seat aboard your boat, feel an Olaf-inspired smile frost across your face when the lapping waters take you right into the frozen willow forest.

Soon, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some “boulders”—a.k.a. Kristoff’s family from Troll Valley—before bracing for the cold. High up in the icy blue world of the North Mountain, Queen Elsa’s enchanting ice palace awaits! Behold the wonder… and keep an eye out for a few more Frozen friends too.

Finally, hang on tight as you glide back down into the Bay of Arendelle and conclude this “Summer Snow Day” celebration in style—complete with many of your favorite Frozen tunes!

Princess Anna and Queen Elsa sign an autograph book for a girl

Royal Sommerhus

“For the first time in forever”—you’re invited to meet with Anna & Elsa inside a cozy summer cabin. Located at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot, Royal Sommerhus is the perfect place to pose for pics and share a warm embrace with the royal sisters from Frozen before heading on to other amazing adventures!

I hope the grandbabies enjoy Frozen Ever After, too. It does take place in a fairly dark environment, so I hope that doesn’t scare them. I wish them only delight in the sights and sounds of Disney World.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

P.S. Two families that we know will be in WDW while we’re there. I hope we run into them to say, Hi!”

Turtle Talk with Crush

In 41 days we head to Florida and Walt Disney World. It’s a comin’ fast now. Woo hoo!

One of our new experiences at EPCOT will be Turtle Talk with Crush, that lovable sea turtle from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. I’m so excited for this new adventure!

Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

Gather ’round a window to the ocean for a real-time Q-and-A session with your favorite totally tubular turtle. Righteous! 

Dory, a friendly Pacific regal blue tang fish with a short memory

Starring Pals from the Disney•Pixar Films

Join Crush as he welcomes a few underwater friends from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory!!

Dory has been stopping by Crush’s “Human Tank” for a while… but these days, the tubular sea turtle may also be joined by Marlin, Nemo and Squirt! Plus, in addition to his chums from Finding Nemo, Crush is stoked to introduce you to some of his dudes from Finding Dory too—including the whale shark Destiny, Bailey the beluga whale and Hank the octopus… well, “septopus” actually, now that he’s lost a tentacle along the way.

So come along and visit Crush today! You never know who you’ll meet from his growing pod of iconic ocean pals.

Crush waves to a family of 4 silhouetted against the screen at Turtle Talk with Crush

Shoot the Breeze from Under the Seas

Got a burning question for Crush? This intimate 15-minute conversation is your chance to ask him! Using his high-tech “hydrophone,” Crush can communicate directly with little dudes and dudettes about literally anything that’s on their minds.

Enter the Turtle Talk theater and take a seat in front of the window into Crush’s ocean world. Watch as he swims up to the underwater mic, looks you in the eye and even addresses you by name! Pick his brain about marine biology, his friends from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Nemo, his favorite food, life in general—it’s totally up to you.

Each show is unique, improvised and a barrel of laughs—definitely a good time for little dudes of all ages, and the parentals as well. No two shows are the same, so you can keep coming back again and again. Sweet!

Loggerhead sea turtle swimming near sea grasses

Where to Find Sea Turtles

Experience the wonder of 250-pound sea turtles cruising the deep blue, and you’ll be like…Whoa!

Sea Turtles at Walt Disney World Resort
Guests can see our green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at the The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. (We will also ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends this time.)

Disney Conservation Efforts
The Walt Disney Company is passionately committed to the protection of sea turtles and their ocean habitats. Find out what Disney is doing for marine turtles—and how you can help, too!

“I have learned from the animal world, and what everyone will learn who studies it, is a renewed sense of kinship with the Earth and all its inhabitants.” – Walt Disney

This is one of the things I love about Walt Disney World. There is always something new to see. Plus it it will be a chill few minutes in air-conditioned comfort on a warm day. Can’t wait!

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Pilgrimage to better health to meet Mickey. A 14 month Quest.