Raise your glass! It’s time to talk about the Disney Cruise Champagne Tasting. You had Serena at champagne. We couldn’t think of a better way to kick-off our first Disney Cruise than with a glass or two (or more) of bubbles. It’s vacation, no judgment here! For our cruise decided to sign up for the Disney Cruise champagne tasting offered at 2 pm on our embarkation day. POP!! What’s that sound? Looks like we’re ready to kick-off our Disney Cruise champagne tasting. Cheers!
What Is It?
It’s Disney Cruise champagne tasting! Need we say more? Yes, yes we do, that’s why we are here. Throughout your Disney Cruise, you’ll find different adult beverage seminars. They range from champagne tasting to tequila tasting, and even mixology courses.
The tastings are a combination of a seminar focused around the specific beverage of choice and of course the tasting. It’s why we’re all here!
Cruise Insights: The beverage tastings during your days at sea will be the most popular.
The time has come. Our glasses are set-up and it’s time to pour some bubbly. Before we taste, we need to find the location. Depending on the ship the location will vary. For our Disney Magic Cruise, the Afterhours Lounge was used for the seminar. Ok, back to the tasting!
Our Disney Cruise champagne tasting consisted of 5 half pours or about two and a half glasses. The seminar was lead by the ship’s sommelier. Yes, each ship has its own sommelier on board. Crazy, right? While each glass is poured our sommelier walked us through the different aspects of tasting champagne and what to look for in good champagne. Did you know the smaller and tighter the bubbles the drier the champagne? Us, either!
We tasted our way through the glasses from the sweeter options to the driest options, then capped off our Disney Cruise champagne tasting with a glass of dessert champagne.
Cruise Insights: If you’re looking for a wine recommendation at dinner, ask your server to speak with the sommelier. They usually will give you a few options that pair well with your meal.
Sign Us Up!
How do we sign up? Great question. Signing up for a Disney Cruise champagne tasting is really easy, as you can sign up on the Disney Cruise app. Similar to the My Disney Experienceapp. Or you can head to guest services when you board the ship to see what options are available.
The cost of the different tasting seminars will vary. For our champagne tasting, the cost was $35 per person which includes tax and tip.
Cruise Insights: We recommend signing up as early as possible for the different beverage seminars, as they fill up quickly.
Worth It? Our Thoughts
For us, it was definitely worth it. First and foremost the champagnes we tasted we’re definitely good quality. One of the options is our favorites from the France pavilion in Epcot. All the bottles range from $50 to $70 per bottle when purchased at your local liquor store. Overall, it’s a great value at the $35 price point.
Our favorite part was the timing. By scheduling our champagne tasting prior to settling sail, it set the tone for our cruise. RELAXING! With the tasting lasting a little more than 30-minutes, we had plenty of time to settle in. If you enjoy champagne or just looking for an adult time out prior to setting sail we definitely recommend it. A toast to success Disney Cruise champagne tasting experience, cheers!
Bon Voyage! Well, not quite yet, we need to board the ship first. In the first article of our Disney Cruise series, we’re discussing our Disney Cruise embarkation day. By far the most important day of the cruise, as you cannot head out on your Disney Cruise without boarding the ship, right? You can always count on us to point out the obvious. Alright, our bags are packed we’re ready to set sail, let’s talk Disney Cruise embarkation day!
Port Of Call
Don’t worry, we had to look it up as well. The port of call is where you set sail from. On this Disney Cruise embarkation day, we’re boarding the ship in Miami to set sail on our 4 night, 5-day Very Merrytime cruise to the Bahamas. Disney Cruise Line has a variety of ports around the US and world. For the most part, the embarkation day is the same.
Cruise Insights: When possible we like to fly-in the night prior to our cruise to avoid any travel issues.
Airport To Ship
Go by land to set sail on the sea. Similar to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line will transport you from the airport to the cruise terminal. There are a few differences between the Disney Cruise Line transport and the Magical Express. The first is the cost. Disney’s Magical Express is included when you stay at a Disney Resort, whereas the Disney Cruise Line transport does have a cost that varies based on the cruise. For our cruise, to the Bahamas, the transport was $22 each way.
The second big difference is the luggage. Similar to the Magical Express, Disney Cruise Line sends luggage tags to your home. The difference comes with how they will be used. With Disney Cruise Line you will attach your luggage tags after picking up your luggage at baggage claim prior to dropping your off with the porters in your port of call. Disney uses the tags to bring your bags to your cabin.
Cruise Insights: We like to put our Disney Cruise Line luggage tags in a carry-on bag for easy access.
Make way for…us! Sorry Price Ali, it’s our time to shine in the spotlight. Now if we only had a genie. Once at the cruise terminal, you’ll hand your luggage off the porter outside the cruise terminal entrance. First stop, security check. After showing your reservation and passport, you make your way through security to your cruise check-in area.
Depending on your cruise status (based on how many Disney Cruise you’ve sailed on), there will be a line for you. At check-in, a Disney Cruise Line cast member will review your documents (reservation and passports), as well as take your picture for your key to the world card. It’s the most important card on your cruise. We’re all checked-in, let’s get this ship out in the seas!
Cruise Insights: We like to pack a few items in our carry-on bags, as once you hand your luggage to the porter it may not be delivered to your room til 4 pm or later.
Is time standing still? That’s what crossed our minds on our Disney Cruise embarkation day as we waited to board the ship. Disney Cruise Line is very organized on how guests board the ship, as you’re handed a boarding group number after completing your check-in. While in the cruise terminal you may see a Disney character or two posing for pictures. No better way to pass the time than snapping a picture with one of the Fab Five. Why hello, Minnie!
Now boarding group…it’s our group! Let’s go! When your group is called you head towards the gangway and take the first of many pictures on your cruise. Click! Picture completed, let’s head aboard.
Passholder Insights: We like to board the ship as early as possible. The earlier you arrive at the cruise terminal the lower your boarding group.
Smooth sailing! We found our Disney Cruise embarkation day to be very simple. After arriving at the cruise terminal around noon, and snapping a picture with Minnie, we were on the ship by 1:15 pm. First Disney Cruise article complete, next up we’ll be on the boat and waving Bon Voyage!
What are Magicbands? It’s magic we can’t tell you. Haven’t you heard of the magician’s code? Who are we kidding, it’s why we are here. There are many things that fall into the magical category at Walt Disney World and the Magicbands are definitely on the list. Besides being a Disney fashion item, have you seen the new Goof Troop Magicband? We distress, back on topic, the bands make our trips a lot easier on multiple levels. Let’s dive into all things Disney Magicband!
What Are They?
They are fashion wristbands! With a Disney twist of course. Hidden inside the band is a technology used to link to your My Disney Experienceaccount. Yes, the same account you’ll create to make your Advance Dining Reservations, FastPassselections, link your Disney resort reservation, link you park ticket and extras like Memory Maker.
Once on Disney World property, your Magicband becomes your key to the “world”. Oh, the puns! It’s the one thing when leaving your room, you’ll want to make sure you have. If you’re like Nate, you may just sleep with it on so you don’t forget it.
Passholder Insights: The bands come in one-size-fits-all. For your children, you are able to remove a portion of the band to make it smaller and more comfortable.
Do They Cost Extra?
Can we say yes and no? When staying at a Disney Resort, a Magicband is included for each guest on the room reservation. Through My Disney Experience, you’re able to select from an array of solid colors and personalize with a name on the back. Color selection and personalize must be done at least 20 days prior to arrival. If you forget to make your selection ahead of time, no worries Disney with have bands for you when you check-in. The only difference is they will be grey and will not be personalized. Additionally, if you purchase an annual pass to Walt Disney World a Magicband is included.
Outside the Magicbands included with your Disney resort reservation, you can purchase additional bands. You can choose from a wide range of bands themed after different characters, movies and even park attractions like the Haunted Mansion. Prices go from $15 and up.
The one-time Magicbands will cost less than $15 is when you’re staying at Disney Resort. When selecting your “included” band you’ll have the option to upgrade to a themed band for only $10+. The options vary from day to day.
Passholder Insights: You can have multiple Magicbands linked to your My Disney Experience account.
What Can I Do With It?
The shorter answer would be what can’t you do with it. With the Magicband linking to your My Disney Experience account you’re able to use the band to enter the parks, use a FastPass, link a ride or Photopasspicture, open the door to your room, use your Disney Dining Plan, and experience park events you’ve purchased like Disney Villains After Hours.
In addition, there are optional things to choose from that include room-charging. If you add a credit to your room you will have the option to select whether or not room charge is turned on and which guests can charge. Another option is the Magic Express. The Magicband will be used to pull up reservation when you arrive at Orlando International Airport.
Passholder Insights: A pin code is required every time you charge something with your Magicband at Disney World.
The Real Magic
Once in the parks, the Magicbands get to work! There are little things that will happen, like your meal magically finding you at Be Our Guest, to your name appearing on a sign, and even photos automatically linked to your account. Keep your eyes peeled as you know what type of magic will happen!
Passholder Insights: When using your Magicband and park ticket for the first time your fingerprint will be scanned as well. Parents can scan their fingerprint in the place of a child, the only requirement is the same parent will need to enter the park with the child every time.
What If We’re Not Staying at Disney World?
We got you covered! For guests not staying at a Disney Resort, all the functionality of the Magicband will work outside of a couple of items. First, you will not be able to pay with your band. The other items are obvious like a band being included, Magical Express and room key. Beyond those three items, the bands will work in the same.
We found the Magicbands work very well. Once and awhile the technology has a quirk, but what technology doesn’t. What we love the most of them is it gives us the ability to travel a little lighter. One of our favorite phrases is “touch Mickey to Mickey”. When at Disney World you’ll here cast members say this all the time as there is a Mickey on the band and the devices have a Mickey as well. Touching them together activities the technology. Ok, time to get serious, are we getting that Goof Troop Magicband or not?
The rise of the restaurants! With the opening of the newest attraction in Black Spire Outpost, we’ve got Star Wars on the brain. Time to focus as we’re here to talk about the best Hollywood Studios sit down restaurants. In a park less known for food and more known for thrilling attractions, the Hollywood Studios sit down restaurant game is starting to rise up. Ok, we’ve resisted the urge long enough, time to share the best Hollywood Studios sit down restaurants!
It’s All About Comfort
Who doesn’t crave meatloaf and mashed potatoes when it’s 100+ in the shade? (#sarcasim) Next door to our favorite show in Hollywood Studios, you’ll find a throwback to the creature comforts we all grew up with at 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Offering a variety of American comfort food classics you can’t choose poorly. Sorry, Harrison Ford, that’s a different Lucus Film.
The go-to menu item has to be the pot roast. Just like mom used to make, maybe even a little better. Shh, let’s keep that as our secret. The slow-cooked roast is fall-apart tender and served with garlic mashed potatoes, gravy and of course a few vegetables. Not to be outshined, Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop is a delicious choice, as the apples compliment the pork beautifully.
But, wait, there’s more! 50’s Prime Time Cafe is more than just great food, it’s also a show. With quick wit, your server is playing the role of either mom or dad in your 1950’s sitcom. You know what that means, you’ve been cast as the kids! Let’s just say make sure to eat your veggies at this establishment.
Passholder Insights: Attached to the 50’s Prime Time Cafe is the Tune-In Lounge. A great place for an adult time out.
No, we’re not talking about the musical. We’re talking about Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. Fun fact, Nate has been known to call it Mama Mia on more than one occasion. Ok, time to focus.
Tucked away in the Grand Avenue section of Hollywood Studios, you’ll find one of our best Hollywood Studios sit down restaurants. Themed around California inspired Italian, Mama Melrose is a solid option for even the pickiest eaters in your group. Our favorite is the Oven-Baked Chicken alla Parmigiana. The classic Italian dish is simple and delish. The sauce, or should we call it gravy, is what makes the dish for us. The flavor of tomatoes really shines through.
Passholder Insights: We’ve found that we usually can snag an Advance Dining Reservation through My Disney Experience on the same day.
Every Hollywood production needs a headliner. This is the best Hollywood Studios sit down restaurant after all. By far our favorite spot in the park is The Hollywood Brown Derby. It’s hard to believe this is theme park dining, it’s that good! It’s worth the splurge.
The historic Hollywood dining spot lives on in Hollywood Studios. All we’re going to say is there are no bad choices on the menu, however, if you’re looking for the iconic experience the must-try dishes are the Cobb Salad and Grapefruit Cake. Thank us later! Our favorite thing to do is stop in for a light afternoon bite and split these two dishes.
Passholder Insights: Many times we do not have a reservation for The Hollywood Brown Derby, so we head outside to snag a seat at the outdoor lounge.
There you have it, our best Hollywood Studios sit down restaurants. The big question is whether or not we’ll have to update our list when the new Toy Story Restaurantopens. Sounds like we’ll be trying some more food! Alright, we held off the urge long enough, we’re off to join the resistance.
Ring! Ring! Who is it? It’s Nature. That’s right we’re getting down and dirty in this article and talking best Disney World bathrooms. Are you ready for an array of bathroom-related dad jokes? Ok, maybe only one or two. That’s one! Anyways, when you’re at Walt Disney World and you gotta take of business (no not a business call), it’s always good to know where to find the best Disney World bathrooms. You’re in luck, we’ve done the research and we’re ready to share our favorite in each park.
The Obvious One
You can’t talk to any Disney World fan without hearing about the Tangled bathrooms in the Magic Kingdom. Yes, they are that cool and the reason they’re kicking off our best Disney World bathrooms list. Located between Fantasyland and Liberty Square, next to Small World you’ll find the most themed bathrooms around. The Tangled bathrooms.
Beyond the beautiful themeing which includes Rapunzel’s frying pan, lanterns and flags, and even outdoor seating with charging stations, the Tangled bathrooms are very clean. By far the most important aspect of making the DVC Duo’s best Disney World bathrooms is cleanliness. For the size and the location, we’ve found the Tangled bathroom’s to be some of the best in the Magic Kingdom.
Passholder Insights: While waiting for the rest of your group, keep an eye out for the hidden Pascals in the Tangled bathroom area. How many can you find?
Peek Behind The Door
No, not the bathroom door. That’s a sure-fire way to meet the Mouse police. We’re talking about checking behind the door to the Odyessy Pavilion. The new home to the Epcot Experience has two bathrooms within a stone’s throw of each other. Located between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion, are two bathrooms to choose from. The most popular choice and the one you may want to skip is the outside option. You can thank us later.
The newer and definitely less frequented bathroom is within the Odyssey Pavilion. Located on the left when walking out of the Epcot Experience, this recently renovated bathroom is by far the best option at the park. The best part is you cannot beat the location as it’s directly between Future World (soon to be World Discovery) and World Showcase.
Passholder Insights: Within the Epcot experience there are a variety of Photopassopportunities.
Finding The Restroom
Next stop on our best Disney World bathrooms tour is the Animal Kingdom. Finding a restroom in the park is not hard, just keep looking! The place to look is by one of our favorite Disney Shows, Finding Nemo the Musical. Ahh, now all the “finding” references make sense.
Walking up to the show building, you’ll see a hill with a small building at the bottom. That’s the spot you’re looking for. Right next the exit of the show is by far the quietest bathroom in the whole park. Well, most of the time. The one time this doesn’t hold true is after the show let’s out. Then it’s like a school of fish scurrying away from a net.
PassholderInsights: Finding Nemo the Musical is the longest show at Walt Disney World. The show runs about 35 to 40 minutes in length.
The bathroom! Last on the list of best Disney World bathrooms is Hollywood Studios. Let’s head to a galaxy not so far away. No need to travel to Black Spire Outpost to find the best bathroom in the park. However, Star Wars is involved. Tucked away near the Star Wars Launch Bay is a restroom that we think even Disney World may have forgotten about!
When facing the entrance to Star Wars Launch look to your left. At the end of the small walkway is the most secluded bathroom in Hollywood Studios. With most guests heading to the opposite side of the park for Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge, this section of the park has become a lot quieter.
Passholder Insights: Star Wars Launch Bay is filled with tons of props and costumes from the most recent movies. We like to check it out on rainy days.
Success! We’ve done it. We’ve completed the grand tour of the best Disney World bathrooms. It was no easy task, but someone had to do it. It’s now time to flush away the bad spots and only remember the good places to drop in for that bathroom break. Ring! Ring! Oh no, our phone is ringing again…please don’t be, Nature!