Bringing the Magic Home Monday’s: Beauty & the Beast

Everyone loves a Disney Movie, even ones that are from “A Tale as Old as Time…”

One of the things we did as a family to excited for our first family trip to Walt Disney World was hold a Family Movie Night each week before our trip, after all unlike Mr. Grumpy and myself our children did not grow up with Sunday nights and the Wonderful World of Disney.  With over 450 titles Disney movie titles available, we had a lot of catching up to do…thankfully we a whole closet full of Disney movies (mostly VCR, lol) thanks to Grandma.

The premise of Disney Family Movie Night was simple, create a themed meal together around the movie, maybe throw in a little craft or activity and watch the movie of the week together.

One of our first movie nights was Beauty and the Beast…which holds a special place in my heart since Mr. Grumpy took me to the movie when we were dating MANY MANY MOONS ago.


Oh, my look how little they were…

“We started out the day with a trip to the library to return some books and select a few more to bring home.  This was a weekly outing for us, like Bell our family loves books.  Ab goes through a book a day!  We made it for story time with our favorite librarian, Mr. Pat, but I forgot my camera.  It is always a pleasure to listen to him read.  We returned home and painted mugs, referring to Chip in the movie. 

For dinner, we had Chicken Cordon Belle, Enchanted Forest Trees with Herbed Rice, French Bread and for dessert Enchanted Rose Strawberry Shortcake.”

Since that night Walt Disney World has gone onto building the Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland, complete with one of my favorite dining locations, Be Our Guest.

And on menu is a DISNEY MUST TRY dessert, the Grey Stuff! It is one of my most favorite things to eat at Walt Disney World.


Disney has also turned the animated feature into a live action movie starring our favorite wizard (the perfect birthday gift from my daughter), plus has brought the Grey Stuff to Disneyland (for a limited time) with the retheming of one of Fantasyland’s quick service dining locations into Red Rose Taverne.


It was love at first bite for my boys this past March when we dined at the Red Rose Tavern, so much so that last night we brought back a new edition of Family Movie Night and made our own Grey Stuff.

Link to RECIPE Compliments of the Disney Diner

And you don’t have to ask the dishes, cause #monsterchild will tell you that it is delicious!

Thinking about a Disney Vacation?  I can help you with that, plus ow about starting your own Disney Family movie nights?  I have a list of movies associated with many of the attractions and rides you will encounter, plus lots of ideas to “Bring the Magic Home” while counting down your trip!  Let’s start planning today, contact me for your Free, No Obligation Disney Vacation Quote and remember my concierge level planning services are COMPLIMENTARY when you book your Disney Vacation with me!

Tammie’s Take Thursday:  When is the Best Time to take a Disney Vacation?

When is the best time to go to Walt Disney World?  ANYTIMEPhoto1077FourBySix

Of course, this is just my opinion because a lot of blogs and websites will direct you to crowd calendars and will tell you that your number one factor should be crowd levels.  For me, I don’t worry so much about crowd levels because I am a firm believer that all crowds at WDW can be tamed by arriving at the parks prior to “rope drop,” going in with a plan of attack and knowing your limits.  Instead, I base my vacations on three factors…my personal schedule, what experiences are available throughout the year at Walt Disney World and what I want to get out of this trip.

I first look at my own personal schedule to see what works for me personally.  Being in education, I am not an advocate of taking children older than 3rd grade out of school for extended periods of time but I also know that every situation is unique and different.  Someday I will tackle the “Should I Take my Child out of School to go to Disney” debate on this blog.

Next, I look at what experiences are available throughout the year and what I want to get from the trip. Let’s look at special events throughout the year that make each trip special and unique…

  • January-New Year’s Celebrations, Christmas decorations still up throughout the first week of January, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Epcot International Festival of the Arts
  • February-Princess Half Marathon Weekend
  • March-Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival
  • April- Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, Easter Celebrations. Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
  • July-4th of July Celebrations
  • September-Fall Decorations, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, Night of Joy Concert Series
  • October- Fall Decorations, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
  • November-Fall & Christmas Decorations, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
  • December- Christmas Decorations, Candlelight Processional in Epcot, Christmas Around the World in Epcot and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

2013-10-03 23.46.25 (3)So, when is my favorite time to go to Walt Disney World? I absolutely love traveling the end of October/beginning of November for several reasons. First, the weather is a pleasant mid 80s cool enough to enjoy the parks and the resort pool. It is absolutely beautiful during this time of the year.  You get to experience the best of both the Fall and Christmas Seasons.  If you time it just right you can attend the last of the Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween parties and the Fall decorations, then watch the magical transformation to the Christmas season and see the snow fall on Main Street during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  In addition, that means runDIsney’s Wine & Dine Photo1026FourBySixHalf Marathon Weekend will be taking place along with Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.  So many fun things to see and do! Also, crowd levels are generally moderate in size this time of the year, which makes dining and FastPass+ reservations easier to make, plus easier to handle during the day in the parks.

In the end, you must decide what works best for you and your travel party, because there is no wrong time to take a trip to the most “Magical Place on Earth.”

What are you waiting for? I can help you pick the perfect time for your travel party and then assist you in your planning needs.

#(almost)WordlessWednesday: Nostalgia

It’s Wednesday, so that means time together with Focused on the Magic to blog hop, link up and share our #DisneySide through pictures with #(almost)WordlessWednesday, since nothing for me is ever wordless with me.

This week’s theme is “Nostalgia”, a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.  Being a child of the 70s my biggest Walt Disney World or Disneyland association that reflects nostalgia stems from watching the opening of The Wonderful World of Disney.  I remember vividly the scenes of in that opening segment…

YouTube:  Wonderful World of Disney Opening

The one scene I remember the most is that of the Jungle Cruise and on my first visit to Walt Disney World it was one of the attractions I knew I had to visit.


Since then, my own children have discovered the Jungle Cruise and it is one of their favorite rides, for the jokes and they spend hours afterwards reciting jokes they heard and laughing hysterically with each other.  I was totally blown away by their recall after 1 ride.

Link:  Jungle Cruise Jokes

The Jungle Cruise is always on the top of our lists to visit each time! What Disney attraction brings up nostalgia for you?  Please share in the comments and tell your own story!

#(almost)Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite View

#(almost)WordlessWednesday is going to be a day early as we are off for a mini vacation back East for the next week. This week’s topic from Focused on the Magic is “My Favorite View.”  Looking through my pictures my favorite view is necessarily a specific location but is a thing…


FIREWORKS! Even better if the fireworks have the castle in view or enjoyed with a dessert or a glass of bubbly wine!

After all when you see Disney fireworks, you know that Wishes do come true!

Friday Fives: 5 (+5) Favorites from 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

x1Okay, I admit it…I did a little happy dance this week to burn off a few calories anticipating one of my favorite things to do in Epcot’s World Showcase, Eat & Drink Around the World because Disney released the menus of the Festival Marketplace Booth menus for this year’s International Food & Wine Festival.  During most visits to Epcot my quest to experience the flavors of the World is done in 11 eat & drink stops, but from August 31 to November 13, Disney adds 35 new stops during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival.

Guests visiting Epcot this fall will be treated to an amazing culinary adventure exploring a wide array of cooking techniques and flavors from chefs from all over the world.  This is a “foodie” paradise with tasty dishes both savory & sweet, fine wine, craft beer, spirits and other beverages.

In honor of the menu release, I am looking back at my 5 favorite flavors & sips from 2016 (and a few I will get to experience again this year in addition to all the new yummies)…

Favorite Flavors

  1. Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel from the chocolate studio
  2. Beijing Roasted Duck in a Steamed Bun with Hoisin Sauce from China
  3. Piggy Wings (Fried Pork Wings) with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds from Craft Beers
  4. Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-roasted Salsa from Greenhouse Guru
  5. Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomato, Onions and Tzatziki Sauce from Morocco

Favorite Sips

  1. Twinings Pumpkin Chia Tea Frozen Cocktail with Caramel Vodka from Ireland (Bonus flavor- Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard from Ireland)
  2. Caposaldo Peach Moscato Sweet Sparkling Wine from Italy
  3. Frozen Spiked Chai Latte with Baileys Irish Cream
  4. Frozen Brown Elephant from Africa Outpost
  5. Frozen Szarlotka Apple Pie featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka from Poland (not sure that was a favorite but it was certainly interesting…like drinking literally an apple pie, chunks of apples and all)

DISCLAIMER:  I ALMOST ate and drank at every Marketplace Booth…BUT I did run a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon this weekend plus this food was consumed over the course of several days, so my rolling and teetering Around the World in a Food Coma doesn’t seem so bad.

It is NEVER too late to plan a Food & Wine or even run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (5K or 10K) this year…I can help you with your booking and plans just email me or respond in a comment to this post!  I would love to help you discover your inner foodie. 

For more information on Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, follow this LINK

#(almost) Wordless Wednesday: Adventure

It is Wednesday, so it is time to let the pictures doing the talking on the blog hop sponsored by Focused on the Magic…but those that know me, I do nothing wordless.  This week’s theme is “Adventure”…

Who says Disney is just for princesses?  One of my favorite character interactions was with my oldest son, Boo and Captain Jack Sparrow.  Boo was selected to play the leading roll in Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial and went sword to sword with the feisty captain himself…

Apparently the captain was not too found of the “Gig Em” hat Boo was wearing, as he was more of the “Hook Em” type of pirates…

I think Gig Em won this sword fight as Boo took the dual about as serious as Captain Jack takes his rum.

Want to know more about Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial?  Follow this LINK



Friday Fives: 5 Ways to Get Around Walt Disney World

From the moment you step off the plane at Orlando International Airport,  Walt Disney World has your transportation covered. There is no need to rent a car to cover the 45 miles of property. Here are 5 ways to get you where you want to be and most are accessible to guests with disabilities or need who need special assistance…

1 MON1. Monorail-One of the most recognized icons at Walt Disney World is the Monorail, make sure you take a ride…but “Please stand clear of the doors. Por Favor Manténgase Alejado de las Puertas.”  The WDW monorail system has 2 loops…Epcot and Magic Kingdom both can be accessed at the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC).  The Magic Kingdom monorail loop connects the Magic Kingdom to the “monorail” resorts… the Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian. There is also an Express monorail that runs directly to the Magic Kingdom.  At the TTC you can transfer to the Epcot loop which will take you directly to Epcot.  The monorail starts running around 7 am until an hour after the parks close.

Tip:  If traveling to the Magic Kingdom from the TTC, walk over to the Polynesian Resort and hop on the monorail this will save you time and avoid the crowds waiting to take the ferry across to the Magic Kingdom or waiting for the Express monorail to Magic Kingdom. 

2. Bus-You can reach all theme parks, water parks and resort hotels by bus. Buses start running 45 minutes prior to park opening and 2 hours after park closing.  While this being the most accessible form of transportation it is also the most crowded, avoid the  bus immediately after posted park closing times and evening shows.  Disney has recently installed wait time boards at each bus top and are fairly accurate to give an idea when the next bus will arrive.  No matter the resort you stay at, there will be bus issues from time to time depending on traffic conditions, so be patient and kind to your bus driver.

Tip:  Give yourself ample time to get where you are going, I always allot at least 60 minutes to get to my destination. Avoid crowded buses by waiting until the next bus arrives, it should not be too long or be prepared to stand.

3. Boat/Ferry-Not my favorite or most efficient choice for travel but it will get you where you are going.  From the TTC to Magic Kingdom you can take the ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon.  From each of the monorail resorts (the Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian plus the Wilderness Lodge) you can take a water taxi across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom and back again.  There is also a boat from the World Showcase Plaza to Germany and Morocco. Epcot, Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Beach/Yacht Club, Swan Dolphin) and Disney Hollywood Studios are connected via the Friendship Launch located directly outside the International Gateway of Epcot.  Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter as well as Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West are connected to Disney Springs via boat.

Tip:  While not the fastest transportation option, it can be the most relaxing and peaceful.  Take the either the ferry or one of the water taxis during the Happily Ever After show in the Magic Kingdom for a breathtaking view of the fireworks.

fet 2

4. Feet-A few resorts are accessible via the old-fashioned method of walking.  Guests at the Contemporary Resort can easily walk to the Magic Kingdom.  If you are staying at one of the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Beach/Yacht Club, or Swan/Dolphin) both Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios are within walking distance and you will find your feet are faster than other modes of transportation.  Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are just a minute walk apart along the River.


Even after a long day at Disney Hollywood Studios, my boys were able to muster enough strength to have a light saber battle while walking back to the Boardwalk.


5. Uber/Taxis/Mears Shuttle-If you want to cut your time in half and don’t mind spending a little money Guest Services at your resort can call for a taxi or shuttle.  Save even more time (and a few dollars) by booking yourself an Uber ride.

All modes of Disney transportation are efficient to get you where you need to be, but take time.  Best of all, except for #5 free to guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.  So, sit back and let Disney do the “driving.”

Getting around is easy, if you are familiar with transportation from your resort.  As part of my complimentary planning services when you book your Walt Disney World Vacation I will provide you with all the information you need to get to your destination the most efficient and fast way possible.

Tammie’s Take Thursday: When Should I Begin Planning My Disney Vacation?

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been since Walt Disney World opened reservations for most of the 2018 calendar year.  It has been a whirlwind of creating inquiry quotes, formal quotes and booking many Disney Vacation reservations for 2018.  I am truly blessed with lots of support into my new venture as an Authorized Disney Vacation planner and Affiliate of Academy Travel and

One question that continuous has been asked over and over the last month is, “When do I start planning a Walt Disney World Vacation?”


Ummmm, RIGHT NOW!!!! (Okay, probably not the best person to ask, since I love to plan…but you asked). With Disney, just as soon as you have made the decision to go there for vacation is when you should begin planning. Who cares if it is a year away or 2 months away…there are things that need to be done and planned.

My personal opinion is to begin planning somewhere between the 12 to 7 month mark prior to your vacation, with booking around 7 months out for Walt Disney World.  (As far as a Disney Cruise, just as soon as itineraries are announced for the cheapest prices and for Disneyland 3 months is enough time, although resort/hotel reservations can sometimes be hard to get the closer to travel date you are).  As much I as I love planning things, there are reasons why I begin planning so early, the most important being that I want to ensure that we experience all the magic possible during our trip…

  1. I can secure my reservation with a simple $200 deposit which locks in prices for my travel dates at that time.  If Disney decides to raise the price on tickets or rooms prior to my stay, I still get to take advantage of the prices at the time of booking. And if a discount offer/promotion becomes available I am still able to apply that offer to my vacation to save money.  I am also able to put my vacation on “lay away,” meaning I can make as many little payments on my trip up until when my balance is due in full 30 days prior to travel.  This allows me to work my vacation into my monthly household budget seamlessly.
  2. Most activities, tours, and dining reservations begin being made 180-60 days in advance of your preferred travel date.  By planning my vacation early, I can do all the research needed to be prepared when the booking windows open for Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) and FastPass+ (FP+) reservations.  Being able to book on booking day helps me to insure we get to eat where we want and ride the attractions we want to.  I have personally witnessed park guests get very upset and not act very kind & friendly when they are not able to so simply walk up to a dining location and be seated (most cases turned away).  Popular dining locations like eating in Cinderella’s Castle or Be Our Guest (aka Beast’s Castle) reservations at 180 days are an ABSOLUTE MUST and even then, there are no guarantees then that you will secure a reservation.  With the opening of Pandora, the World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer wait times have soared into the 3+ hours for some attractions, being able to book ride reservations or FastPasses at 60 days helps to ensure that we are able to ride without waiting in line for hours as well as get the times that we want to visit the attraction.
  3. Walt Disney World is a huge place (46 square miles) and being able to know what there is to see, do and experience takes time to research, sort through and work into a doable plan.  Every trip I plan I find a new magical experience and has me wanting more.  By beginning my planning early, I have the time needed to find the magic, sometimes more than is possible to fit into the time I have (but that is what another trip is for).

You want to go sooner than 7 months?  No problem, I have helped clients put together a truly magical experience at 70 days.  It will be a fast learning curve and quick decisions, but totally doable and just as magical in the end.  The key with planning under 3 months is to be flexible.

But what if you are the more of the spontaneous type…can’t you just wing it? You’re not a bird, so don’t wing it! I wouldn’t suggest going into any sort of Disney vacation without some sort of plan of time.  It does not have to be


detailed down to the last second of every day of your vacation, but to truly have a magical experience without the frustration of crowds, lines and not knowing what to expect you must go in with a plan.

I understand, not everyone has the need to be as obsessive, I mean thorough, about planning their Disney vacation as I do. The great thing is that you don’t have to be either, let me walk you through the planning experience.  I have already done the time consuming hard work of researching for you. I will provide you with the information based on what you tell me that you want to get out of your vacation, you make the decisions and I work to make the magic happen (thank goodness for my Fairy Godmother Wand) as much as I can. Best of all my services come free when you book any Disney or Universal Vacation with me.  Here are just a few of the things I can/will do for you…




  • Welcome Packet full of information to get you started down the planning road
  • Set Up of My Disney Experience (MDE) Account
  • Suggest Flight Schedules & booking option through Disney
  • Arrange Airport Transportation with Disney Magical Express
  • Customized Resort & “On Property” Transportation Information
  • Information to help you decide “What Park, What Day”
  • Information to help you decide on Advanced Dining Reservations as well as advice & suggestions on including a Disney Dining Plan to your reservation
  • Option for booking of Dining Reservations at 180 days for you
  • Monitoring of Requested Dining Reservations not available at time of booking (Wish list)
  • Periodically emails on fun things to try/do and special events to keep you excited about your trip
  • Information to help you decide on FastPass+ Reservations as well as advice & suggestions
  • Option for booking of FastPass+ Reservations for your travel party at 60 days prior to travel
  • Option for custom itinerary and touring plans, or just generic touring plans for each park
  • Tips, Tricks & Suggestions to make the most of your vacation
  • Answers to all your questions, honest opinions and advice
  • Final Packet with Trip Documents
  • During trip support via email, phone or text as needed

What are you waiting for, let’s get planning.  I promise to give your Disney vacation the same attention to care and detail as I would my own no matter how soon (or late) we begin planning the magic!