September 6, 2013

Daring to "do Disney" with Toddlers


I’m often asked how old kids should be before you take them to Disney World.  My standard reply is “under 3 is free.”  I’m usually met with the response, “yeah….but…isn’t that a pain and they won’t  even remember it.”  It’s true that they probably won’t remember it, but you will.  With a little prep work, it won’t be a pain.  It will be memories and photographs that you cherish for a lifetime.

There are many schools of thought on the subject but I stand with the camp that believes you are never too young and you are certainly never too old to go to Disney.  My kids are now 16, 14, and 9.  The older two were 3 and 1 on their first Disney vacation.  Do they remember that trip? They think they do.  I’m sure they don’t have real memories but we’ve talked about it so much over the years that they think they remember it.  My son who was 1 at the time “remembers” getting his first hair cut at the Magic Kingdom Barber Shop.  He also remembers climbing up into the stroller in the mornings because he was ready to go!  My daughter remembers poking  Eeyore to see if he was real.  She also remembers falling out of the bed in the middle of the night and busting her lip.  Oops. That might not be one of the magical memories we strive for. The point is, even though they have been to Disney multiple times since then, their first trip was at that beautiful age where they truly “believed.”  Not to mention that the pictures we have are undeniably fabulous.    

If you are thinking of a Disney vacation with your little one, here are some tips to help you create magical memories while keeping your sanity and blood pressure under control.

*Plan your “photo opps”  for the time of day when your child is the happiest.  If they generally aren’t morning kids, don’t plan an 8:00am breakfast with Mickey.  Opt for dinner instead.  If they melt down at 4:30pm, don’t schedule a 5:00pm reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. 

*Speaking of meal times…don’t assume dinner is best for your table service meals. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can use the table service credits for any meal of the day.  Many restaurants have the same menu all day so lunch is often a better choice for families with young kiddos.  That allows for maximum flexibility in your evening hours.

*Take breaks.  I’m so not good at this. But it is a great idea.  Leave the park after lunch and go back to your resort room for a rest and/or swim.  Then re- enter the parks that evening recharged and ready to enjoy the evening festivities with a fresh battery life- for yourself AND your phone.

*Learn from my mistake and ask for a pack and play or bed rails for your resort room.  See my story about the busted lip above. 

*Fully evaluate the stroller situation and choose the best option for your needs.  You can take a stroller from home, rent one from the parks, rent one from an outside company that is delivered to your resort.  Think about if you want the stroller for the entire day or just for the time in the parks.  Think about how comfortable you are folding it up to get on the buses and monorail.  If your child will be sleeping in the stroller, keep in mind that Disney’s are hard plastic.  If you are looking for an outside company, I have had good client experiences with Orlando Stroller Rental but there are other good companies out there as well.

*Bring in snacks and bottled water.  You can absolutely bring snacks and bottled water etc. to the parks.  You can’t wheel in a big cooler and you can’t bring glass bottles or alcohol, but a baggy of gold fish is A-ok.  Keep in mind that juice boxes aren’t allowed at Animal Kingdom because of the straws.  Straws and balloons are a big no-no in that park.

*Scout the park maps for areas to run and play.  Every park has a great “run and play” area.  Find it. Circle it.  Use this as your secret weapon when you need to sit and the kids need to run.  Tom Sawyer Island and Casey Junior’s Splash and Soak Station are the two spots that come to mind for Magic Kingdom.  Oh, and they aren’t kidding about the “soak” part so you might want to toss a change of clothes in the bag.  There is also that great little area between Cinderella’s castle and Tomorrow land in the rose garden area.  There are not toys but it is shady and rarely crowded, making it a great chill spot.

*Let someone else do the “heavy lifting” for you.  Ok, this is where I plug myself a little. Travel planners that specialize in Disney vacations can offer a wealth of information to you.  You let us know what you want and we make it happen.  We take care of the details, the coordinating of park hours and parade times with your dining reservations, and we never cost you a single penny.  Travel agents like myself are paid by Disney. Your package price is not any higher and you don’t pay any fees for our services. That my friends is what we call, “Winner  winner chicken dinner!”

 

Mindy is a wife, mother of 3, and the owner of Once Upon a Vacation where they specialize in planning Disney vacations.  She is also one of the hosts of 3 Moms and the Mouse, a weekly podcast all about Disney- from a mom’s point of view. Feel free to contact Mindy with your Disney questions at Mindy@OnceUponaVacation.com.

 

August 17, 2013

Fall Festivies in DL and WDW

My absolute favorite time of year at Disney is Fall.  It's awesome when all the Halloween decorations are up throughout the park, it is a little cooler outside and The Haunted Mansion is re-imagined with The  Nightmare Before Christmas characters.  There are also hundreds of uniquely carved pumpkins throughout the resort.  




I'm also a fan of drinking hot apple cider to warm me up when it gets chillier in the parks.

I'm already thinking about eating those bread bowls filled with veggie chili or gumbo that you can find right outside of The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. 

My mouth is watering thinking about the beignets at Royal Street Veranda and the Three Cheese Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans.

This year, as you may know, I will be spending Halloween-time in Florida at Walt Disney World Resort.  It will be my first Halloween at WDW, though I have spent many Halloweens at Disneyland in California.  I am sure Walt Disney World will amaze me with their take on my favorite time of year.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party begins September 10 and goes through November 1, 2013 at Walt Disney World.  Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland begins September 13 and continues through October 31, 2013.

It's a good idea to get tickets well in advance of your trip, as they often sell out.  Prices start at $59 for a one day ticket to the Halloween party at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

Everyone is welcome to dress up in their costumes for the celebration.  You will be able to trick or treat with your favorite characters and will be entertained with parades and music.  Disneyland also has crafts like making your own Halloween mask before joining Mickey and his friends in a mini mask parade. 

If you are interested in learning more about Halloween time at Disney or you would like to book your Disney vacation, please contact Laura@onceuponavacation.net or fill out a quote request form at happiestvacations.com.

Laura

August 15, 2013

Adventures by Disney: Ecuador and Galapagos Islands – Part 2

In Part I of this article I told you all about the first portion of this amazing itinerary, which starts in Ecuador.  The itinerary continues… and I think you’ll find it just as exciting as I do!
 
On Day 4 of your trip, you will fly to The Galapagos Islands.  You’ll take a ferry from the Itabaca Channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island.  There you will learn about the different high elevation ecosystems.
Your group will have lunch at a local restaurant before heading to the El Chato Tortoise Reserve.  There you will see the giant tortoises for which The Galapagos Islands are famous.  You will also see several lava tunnels and a lot of different birds on the reserve.
Next you will take a bus ride to Puerto Ayora.  There you will board La Pinta Yacht where you will enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner.
The next day you will have breakfast on the yacht before receiving a private guided tour of Santa Cruz Island by a naturalist.  You will get to explore the lava tubes and spend more time admiring the Galapagos Tortoises.
You’ll have lunch aboard the yacht before a privately guided tour of Sombrero Chino Islet.  Enjoy exploring the beautiful white sand beach and trails there, which will lead you to a cove with snorkeling and swimming among the wildlife.  You may see white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, iguanas, sea lions and tropical fish. 
It’s really an amazing opportunity to be able to encounter all those species in the wild!

You’ll head back to the yacht for dinner, concluding day 5.  
The next day you will have breakfast on the yacht before your privately guided tour of Bartolome Island.  Take a hike to the summit of Pinnacle Rock to appreciate its great views.  You can take a dinghy ride around the island or take a glass bottom boat ride.  You can also choose to take a private tour of the island or just enjoy the beach.
Back on the yacht, you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch before heading out to Santiago Island.  You’ll take a short ride to Sullivan Bay and hike across the island, where you may spot wildlife such as the mottled Galapagos hawk, coppery lava lizards, smoky fur seals, blue heron and other magnificent creatures.  You will also get to spend time on the coral sand beach.
Relax while having dinner back on the yacht with the adults while the Junior Adventurers are treated to a pizza party.  Then, there will be a Disney Movie Night for the Junior Adventurers.  Adults can always join in the fun, if they want!
The next day you will have a privately guided tour of Darwin Bay.  You will be in one of the best bird watching areas in the whole archipelago, Tower Island (Genovesa Island).  There are thousands of birds to be seen here.  You can also choose to walk over the sharp lava to get awesome views or head to the beach for snorkeling and swimming.  You’ll also have the option of paddling a sea kayak in the harbor.
Once again you will enjoy lunch on the yacht.  Then you will get a privately guided tour of Tower Island.  You will take a panga ride and then will climb the steep Prince Phillip Steps, which will take you to the largest bird colony on the island.  Alternatively, you can stay on the panga through the rocky path carved into the volcanic walls of the island to get to the bird colony.

You will head back to the yacht for your last dinner aboard and you will enjoy your farewell drink.  
You will fly back to Quito, Ecuador on Day 8 and you will enjoy lunch on the plane.  You’ll be checking back into the JW Marriott hotel, where you will have a farewell feast with your fellow Adventurers.  You will be entertained by traditional Ecuadorian Musicians.  

You will have one last breakfast at the hotel on the day of your departure, which concludes your tour.  

This itinerary is jam-packed with amazing opportunities to make lifelong memories.  Currently there are travel dates in December 2013 and 2014 and June – August 2014 with availability.  

When you book an Adventures by Disney vacation, you will really see the Disney difference.  You will be immersed in the local culture, learning the legends and stories of the people.  Your Adventure Guides are there to share their knowledge with you through their amazing storytelling abilities.  The level of personal service you receive on an Adventures by Disney vacation is superb.  
If you would like to book an Adventures by Disney vacation, or any other vacation, please contact Laura.  I would love to help you make your vacation dreams come true!
Laura
 

July 29, 2013

Adventures by Disney: Ecuador and Galapagos Islands – Part I

Are you a travel enthusiast?  If you want the very best in guided tour vacations for multi-generational families, you must consider Adventures by Disney.  
Adventures by Disney has many itineraries from which to choose.  There are Mediterranean cruises; tours in Europe; Asia; Africa; Australia; Central and South America.  There are even tours right here in North America!
 
Today I want to tell you all about the Ecuador portion of the 9 Days / 8 Nights tour of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands.  Don’t worry… Part II of this series will focus on the Galapagos Islands portion of the itinerary!  This itinerary starts in Quito, Ecuador.  Guests stay at the luxurious JW Marriott hotel, which is surrounded by mountain views.  The morning after arriving in Ecuador, you will meet the other tour guests and your Adventure Guides at an exclusive hotel breakfast. You will then travel to the Quitsato Equator Sundial.  A local expert will tell you about the history of this enormous monument at “the middle of the Earth.”  This is really a fantastic photo opportunity, though there will be many on your trip.    
 
You’ll then have an aromatic visit to a rose plantation.  Roses are one of Ecuador’s biggest exports and are an important part of Ecuadorian culture.  You’ll be stopping to smell the roses!    The tour group will have a traditional lunch accompanied by storytelling and a featured presentation of their famous quinoa.  You’ll even learn how to make your own Andean flute, which you can keep as a memento of your trip, as you learn about the music of Ecuador. There will also be a weaving demonstration before heading to the Hacienda Pinsaqui, one of Ecuador’s oldest haciendas.
Once you arrive at the hacienda, you will learn about the history of this estate with the help of a local guide.  You might see llamas, peacocks, horses and rabbits as you make your way through the scenic grounds and gardens. Later, you will be treated to a Folkloric Dance Show in the courtyard.  


The day’s activities will conclude with a dinner at the Hacienda Pinsaqui’s restaurant.  You may relax by the fire or head to the game room following dinner.
 
Can you believe you will experience all that on your first day of touring in Ecuador?   Adventures by Disney’s tours are thoughtfully planned out to ensure you get the most out of your vacation.
The next day, after breakfast, you will depart Pinsaqui and head to the Otavalo Valley Weaving Center.  You’ll get to fly a kite while in the hillsides of the lush Otavalo Valley.  You’ll also get to learn about the Parque Condor (Condor Park) and its rescue efforts.  The Parque Condor is a refuge for birds that were rescued from illegal captivity.  None of the birds were taken from nature.  You’ll hear about everything the refuge is doing to save these birds from extinction.
 
Next, you will have a private lunch at the restaurant of Puerto Lago, which is a gorgeous resort on the shores of a lake.  After lunch, you will have a chance to shop in the Otavalo Marketplace and you'll also learn traditional wood painting.  You’ll return to the hotel for a cooking lesson on some scrumptious desserts.  Following the lesson, you will have a BBQ dinner in the courtyard.  
Your day will conclude with a Disney Movie Night for the Junior Adventurers in the group (which you are more than welcome to join in on).  
 
The next day you will fly to the Galapagos Islands…Can you believe you will experience all those amazing activities in your first three days of your trip?  This is the trip of a lifetime… and you have not even heard about what is in store for you in Galapagos!  
 
Stay tuned for Part II which will tell you all about the rest of this amazing itinerary.  The Galapagos Islands are more than just tortoises! 
Laura
 

If you are interested in more information or to book your Disney vacation, contact me today!
 I'm so excited to help make your dream vacation come true!  To request a quote, please click here!

July 19, 2013

Disney's Fine Art & Photography


Looking for something to add a little extra magic to your Disney World Vacation? Well I recommend setting up a photo session with Disney’s Fine Art & Photography! They do a fantastic job and you will have beautiful pictures that you can cherish for a lifetime. My husband and I had our dream Disney wedding in May of 2012. Rick & Cricket of Disney’s Fine Art & Photography shared our day with us and did a wonderful job capturing many wonderful moments from our very special day. Then just a few days after our wedding we had booked the Cinderella Castle session at Magic Kingdom. Again they did a beautiful job taking many pictures that I will cherish and have for years to come.


Fast forward to our 1st Anniversary we again booked a session with Disney’s Fine Art & Photography at Epcot. This time we got to spend our time with Alicia. We really enjoyed her and had a great time working with her. Epcot is a wonderful location and we got many beautiful pictures. There is nothing more magical then the memories you make at Disney World with your family, loved one, or best friends and these pictures will last a lifetime and help us keep hold of all the memories we make. 

Now unfortunately for those of you wanting to do the Cinderella Castle session, you must be having a Disney Fairytale Wedding to book that. I highly recommend booking a session at Epcot though, as your session is done before the park opens so you have the park to yourself and there are many beautiful spots to choose from there. You may also choose from Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. Those two however, are done while the park is open so it will not be as private as if you had them done at Epcot.

There are two sessions you can choose from: the Mini photo session and the Enchanted portrait session. The Mini portrait session, as of 2013 is $150 and is only a 20 min casual photos session. These are only available at select Disney Resort locations and includes getting a keepsake flash drive with your final images. Then there is the Enchanted portrait session, as of 2013 it is $350 and can be done at select Walt Disney World Parks or Resort locations. You also will get a personalized website that you and your family and friends can view as well as a beautiful 6”x6” proof book with all your pictures.

Another recommendation I have if doing anniversary or couple sessions and you want your makeup and hair done without the hassle of doing it yourself call Beaute Speciale! I have used them 3 times now for my wedding, castle session as well as my anniversary session. My Disney wedding Planner Meri had recommended them and I am so happy she did. They do a fantastic job!! They come to your resort the morning of your session and there is no travel fee if staying at a Disney Resort. So when you are booking your next trip to Disney World maybe make it extra special and book a Disney Fine Art & Photography session!   


Rachel King
Rachel@onceuponavacation.net

July 8, 2013

Bringing "Baby" to Disney Resorts- Jorie Fontana

Walt Disney World offers lots of options when it comes to resorts suitable for infants.  Disney has three classifications of resorts (plus the villas), starting with their Value resorts.  These consist of your All-Star resorts (Sports, Music, and Movies) as well as Pop Century.  I stayed at the AllStar Sports resort when my oldest was only a year.  I found the rooms to be sufficient for our smaller family.  A crib fit in the room well with our King-sized bed.  Rooms in the value resorts are all considered 2+ or 4+.  This means that if you are choosing a King-sized or 2 Double-sized beds, you can have one additional child under the age of three in the room.  Disney has Pack ‘n’ Plays available.  Make sure to request it at the time of your booking and when you arrive. 

If you are looking for a bit more space but still the colorful, fun atmosphere of the value resorts, you may want to try Disney’s brand new value plus option, The Art of Animation.  This resort is decorated in three main themes; The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo. It boasts the biggest pool in Walt Disney World.  The rooms are larger than the All-Stars and when booking a suite, offer you the ability to allow baby to take a nap or go to bed early in his or her own area.  Again, cribs are available upon request. They also have a small fridge for you to keep bottles or half a gallon of milk cold.  Now that my family is larger, we plan on staying here for our winter vacation coming up. 

If you are looking for a bit more space than a value and a few more amenities, a moderate resort might be the perfect answer.  My family stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside the last time we visited.  We had a toddler and baby and felt the room was perfect.  We requested bed rails and a crib for our room.  Both were easy to attain and actually the rails were safe enough to allow our 22 month old to sleep on the bed with his sibling.  These resorts also have small fridges in each of the rooms.  Riverside is the only moderate resort that has some rooms that can accommodate 5+ guests.  The pool areas were well maintained and watched.  We took night time walks and enjoyed the ambiance.  The food in the restaurant was perfect for our whole family and provided enough variety to keep us coming back during our long vacation.  Other moderate resorts to consider are Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Port Orleans French Quarter.  These, as well as most of Riverside, have rooms for 2+ or 4+ guests. 

If you are looking for top of the line accommodations, atmosphere, amenities, and convenience for you and baby, then a Deluxe resort is what you are after.  Resorts such as; The Polynesian, The Contemporary, The Grand Floridian, and The Wilderness Lodge are as close as you can get to the castle.  The rooms are very comfortable and offer room accommodations for 2+, 4+, 5+ and even larger groups.  While I have not stayed here with a baby, my experiences at the Polynesian and Wilderness proved to me that the little ones would fit right in with ease.  These hotels have many dining options from quick service to table service restaurants.  If staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can observe wildlife right outside your room!  Most of the Deluxe resorts can be found very conveniently located near a Disneyworld park and can make hustling back to a room for a quick rest a breeze. 

One of the neatest small perks of staying at a Disney resort is the Disney character wake-up call!  Make sure to request the time and when getting the call, put your phone on speaker.  Slow waking or groggy children are sure to get ready in a hurry after hearing Stitch, Goofy or even Mickey telling them to get moving! 

For an extra charge, in room babysitting for children 6 months to 12 years old if available.  “Kid Nite Out, Inc” is a professional service that comes to your room and watches your children while you get some adult time.  They are well trained in keeping your children busy with games and activities.  There is a four hour minimum for the night out. Some of the Deluxe resorts have clubs you can bring your children to for an extra charge as well. 

Jorie and her husband are blessed with three beautiful children.  She has been to a Disney destination in every stage of her life and is convinced that Disney is for everyone.  Her children are all young and recent trips have helped them figure out how to travel to Disney, get the most out of every park, and still cater to the needs of their young ones.  While Jorie specializes in planning both holiday vacations and helping families with small children, she can help you have a wonderful experience no matter the age or make up of your group. ¡También, puedo hablar español!  ¿Cómo puedo ayudarle a su familia?

Contact Jorie at Jorie@OnceUponaVacation.com

June 28, 2013

Disney Transportation with a Baby in Tow- By Jorie Fontana


If you are like many people out there, you have a baby and think that a Disney vacation would be too much of a hassle.  I traveled to Disney with my 10 month old and had little to no problems throughout all our experiences.  For this article, I will focus on the transportation aspect of a Walt Disney World complete package vacation.  There will be future articles that talk about resort accommodations, the park experience with a baby as well as how to get your entire family (parents included) an action packed vacation with baby in tow.  Often times, a baby means that families will need to modify vacation plans.  With a Disney vacation package, you don’t have to worry about much except packing the diapers and wipes.  Actually, they have that too!

If flying in to Orlando and staying at a Disney World resort, you have the ability to schedule the Disney’s Magical Express shuttle bus to pick you up from the airport and transport you and your family to your resort.  The magic begins at the moment you walk on the star carpet to your appropriate shuttle. As long as your flight arrives prior to 10:00pm, you can even skip baggage claim and head straight for the bus.  Your luggage will “magically” appear in your resort room later in the day.  However, if you prefer to grab your own bags, the Magical Express will help you load all baggage and baby essentials, such as strollers, carriers, etc. Each bus may or may not have seatbelts available.  Our 2 year old and 4 year old were completely fine sitting and observing the Disney landscape and signs to worry about not being restrained.  The infant sat in my lap.  I never felt worried nor unsafe to having her without a carseat.  Other mothers talked about having even smaller infants in body carriers attached to them during this part of the trip.

When visiting any of the parks, we used the Disney bus system for the most part and monorail or ferry boats to reach each park or reservation.  Each time our baby sat on one of our laps due to the fact that some buses would have seatbelts and some didn’t.  The monorail and ferry boat did not offer any restraints for children either but we were very comfortable with each trip.  When times were busy, usually after late night shows or fireworks, we were always offered a seat.  During very busy times, there were a lot of people standing yet people always kept their distance to not fall on the baby nor make her scared by the crowd.  Everyone interacted with her and entertained her from each destination which made each trip fly by and virtually effortless for us.

Some extra notes; make sure to have a stroller that is easily folded and carried.  Often times when viewing a late night show or fireworks, we would be pushing our kids to the end.  By the time we started the stroll to the bus corral, they would have started dozing.  As we waited for the bus to arrive, no more than 10-20 minutes during peak times, the children would be resting in the stroller.  As the bus approached, we needed to scoop up the kids, board and stash the stroller without holding up the whole fleet.  Everyone appreciated and commented on our ability to move from waiting to riding with almost no issues. 

Finally, if you have any objections with the inconsistency of seatbelts in the Disney bus system, you always have the option to rent a car or take a taxi.  These options would cost more.  Renting a car would require you to bring your own carrier, drive to the parks each day, and deal with the parking/walking experience.  Calling a taxi from the airport, one would need to request a taxi with a baby carrier.  Even then, it may be hard to verify that the carseat meets current safety standards.  After calling a taxi to get to your hotel, you would need to decide if you would take a taxi everyday to a park or ride the Disney transportation (bus/monorail/boat) then. 
Jorie her husband are blessed with three beautiful children.  She has been to a Disney destination in every stage of her life and is convinced that Disney is for everyone.  Her children are all young and recent trips have helped them figure out how to travel to Disney, get the most out of every park, and still cater to the needs of our young ones .  While Jorie specializes in planning both holiday vacations and helping families with small children, she can help you have a wonderful experience no matter the age or make up of your group. ¡También, puedo hablar español!  ¿Cómo puedo ayudarle a tu familia?
Contact Jorie at Jorie@OnceUponaVacation.com


 

June 27, 2013

Lets Talk About...Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue- by Leigh Adams

 
Since 1974,  the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has been taking Walt Disney World guests out Florida and transporting them to the Wild West. The popular dinner show is set as a traveling musical review with a band of cheesy theatrical vaudeville players. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue’s first performance was on June 14th, 1974 and has been a guest favorite for going on 37 years. The easiest form of transportation to Pioneer Hall is to take a bus or monorail from your hotel to the Magic Kingdom, from the Magic Kingdom you hop on a boat for a beautiful (short) scenic ride over to Ft. Wilderness. When you step off the boat at the Ft. Wilderness dock, Pioneer Hall is only a few steps away. While the slapstick comedy may turn some guests away, it just happens to be one of my family’s favorites. From the moment they ring that huge dinner bell on the front porch of historic Pioneer Hall, the fun begins.

Guests are ushered into Pioneer Hall by a warm welcoming Cast Member dressed in a nostalgic red and white checked western costume. Tables are set with rustic iron place settings and a delicious tossed green salad with a house vinaigrette dressing.  There is also some of the most delicious corn bread with honey butter anyone will find south of the Mason Dixon Line (and I’m from NC, so I know good corn bread).  This is when the all you can eat food Olympics begins! The waiter/waitress comes over to get your drink order. They have the traditional soda/tea choices but because this is a dinner show, alcohol (beer, wine, or sangria) is also included in the price of your ticket. Drinks are quickly returned to the table as the show begins.
 
    Booming in from the back doors of the Pioneer Hall come Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long, and Jim Handy...known collectively as, “The Pioneer Hall Players.”  They come in singing, dancing, and playing instruments as the introduce themselves. The slapstick comedy keeps the kids entertained and the adults chuckling. In the beginning of the show, the Pioneer Hall Players like to find out where some of the guests are from, they then perform a hilarious ad-libbed song using some of the home states from the audience.  Then it’s time for the main event- the food. The preset dinner menu includes family style helpings of buckets of smoked BBQ pork ribs, home style fried chicken, corn, baked beans, and mashed potatoes. Dessert is a fantastic strawberry shortcake- coming complete with its own song and dance introduction.

     The entire show is corny, light hearted, and lots of fun.  It is exactly how I imagined Walt Disney would have wanted it to be. Being a very interactive performance,  they use audience guest members to “help out” the cast at various spots in the show. The grand Finale is a comedy song telling Davy Crockett’s life story. The cast asks some of the audience members to come up and perform the song with them. It is an exceptionally cute way to end the show using a child as the focal point. The Hoop Dee Doo is a fantastic experience everyone should try at least once! Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue takes 2 table service credits per person from the Disney Dining Plan.
 
Leigh is a wife, mother to a Disney Princess, travel agent specializing in Disney dream vacations, and lover of ALL things Disney. Leigh understands the time and stress that is dedicated to making every trip perfect. To make things easier on you, Leigh loves keeping up with Disney news, new offers, planning itineraries, and making dining reservation- all to help your family have the most magical and stress free vacation possible. ​

When Leigh is not at Disney or planning a Disney vacation, she loves spending time with her husband and daughter at their lake house taking in the NC sun and biking. Contact Leigh at Leigh@OnceUponaVacation.com and follow her on twitter @Leighadams80.