Disney World trip wrap up

Just four weeks ago, my family and I were in Disney World.  We had a great time. I mean how could we not? We were in the most magical place on Earth!

I thought I would review a few things that I talked about in my previous posts. (Planning post I, Planning Post II, Planning Post III and decorating your Magic Bands.)

Star Wars Weekends

One of the main reasons we went was to attend Star Wars Weekends (typically offered the last two weekends of May and first two weekends of June – though this year they did it for five weekends.) For a Star Wars fan, this is a must-attend event.

We didn’t stand in the autograph lines for the stars (Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Ray Parks were there our weekend), and we didn’t attend any of the special shows with these stars as we figured the kids wouldn’t be interested. wd022wdw201415783130927_19But it still was fun to walk around and run into Star Wars characters and do some shopping for Star Wars themed merchandise. And of course it was fun to have the magic shots taken with us fighting Darth Vader or knocking down some stormtroopers while using the force.

This year, Disney offered two special character meals featuring Star Wars characters. We attended both. The first was the Sci-Fi Dine-in Galactic breakfast. We got to watch clips of Star Wars on the big screen as storm troopers, jawas and Greedo came around. We had a photo with Darth Vader and Boba Fett upon entering the restaurant.

P1030744The other meal was a Jedi Mickey meal at Hollywood and Vine. We had a photo with Chip and Dale as Ewoks as soon as we entered the restaurant. As we ate, Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy and Stormtrooper Donald all stopped by our table.

I am glad we did both this time, but if Disney offered them again, I think we would just choose to do only the Sci-Fi Dine-in Galactic breakfast. It was more unique and featured the bad guys.

Magic Bands

We had no problems with Disney’s new magic bands. They worked great for park entry, fast passes and as our room key. We got many compliments on our decorated bands. Lexie did lose a few of her gems that I glued on. (Actually, I think she lost one and then picked at the rest since one was missing.) Jase’s band is the only one that showed any wear from being used. IMG_2253The purple nail polish began to peel slightly on the bend of the band. Next time, I will not use Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails. Not only did it crack, but it took me three coats to get a good purple on his blue band. I did love the purple color – just not how well it held up.

My band probably held up the best out of all four bands. The glow in the dark effect that I put on my husband’s and Jase’s worked in a subtle way. Jase was happy with it so that is all that matters.

Fast Pass +

Disney recently started allowing you to book Fast Passes (FP) for up to three rides BEFORE you get to the park. This means you bypass the long “stand-by” lane and pretty much get right on the ride during your Fast Pass window, which is open for an hour. After you have used your three pre-booked FPs, you can then book another one. (As this has been an evolving program, you will need to check to see what the current program entails. At the time we were there, you had to book your additional FPs at kiosks inside the park which we did with no problems.)

We loved having some of the big rides scheduled for the day we arrived. It also worked out nice to arrive at the parks early and hit some rides and then when the lines began to build to be able to use our pre-scheduled FPs for the most popular rides.

I only had two issues with the new system. One it was hard having the FPs scheduled an hour apart. When we had two rides next to each other, it was easier to arrive at the end of the first ride’s FP time so we wouldn’t have any wait for the next ride. (An example would be showing up at 3:00 for a Splash Mountain FP that would expire at 3:10. By the time you are done with Splash Mountain, your Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FP that was scheduled from 3:10 to 4:10 would be ready to use. If we had hit Splash earlier, there would have been time to kill in an area of the park with very few other rides.)

My other issue dealt with trying to change a FP on the My Disney Experience app. I accidentally hit copy and screwed up a whole day’s worth of FPs that luckily we were able to salvage by talking to the help desk. I seriously think it should ask, “Are you sure you want to do this?” instead of just trying to copy the current FP to someone else. Not to mention it didn’t even work but that is a rant for another day.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

wd011wdw201416084494367Lexie was so excited about being made into a princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Magic Kingdom. We took her Cinderella dress from Halloween, which lights up. She got a ton of attention because of the light up effects. She also enjoyed the makeover. What I wasn’t prepared for was that she didn’t like her hair!

She didn’t choose the standard bun that I would say 70% of the girls picked. She chose a “Diva” look which included a hair piece to make her hair longer. Thankfully, her Fairy Godmother-in-training (FGIT) picked one that matched her natural hair color. I wasn’t looking forward to a pink hairdo that I had seen on some of the other girls. wd021wdw201416084505026But the FGIT teased up the hair into a high “bun.” Lexie hated it. She thought everyone would make fun of her even though we saw others with that same style. After an hour of her frowning about it, my husband and I tried fixing the hair so it wasn’t so poufy. She kept it up through dinner at the castle, but as soon as we were back to the room, she wanted to take it down all the way.

She has declared that next time she would pick a different style. In the end, I guess the cost was worth it. We had done the package that does hair, makeup and nails. I then added that pink tiara to the package. She got to keep all the makeup, nail polish, face jewels and hair clips. She also got a sash and pink bag.

Overall, our trip was wonderful and I would love to go to Disney World more often. As it is, we probably won’t be back for another three years – unless I can convince my husband to go in 2016!

Customizing our Magic Bands for our trip to Disney World

As I have posted several times in the past seven or so months, my family has been planning a vacation to Walt Disney World (WDW) in Florida. About a year ago, WDW introduced magic bands.

These colorful, waterproof wrist bands are your ticket to the parks, your “Fast Pass” to the rides, your Photo Pass card, the key to your resort room (if staying on Disney’s property) and allow you to pay for meals and souvenir purchases (again, if staying at a Disney resort). They are included in your stay at a Disney resort or off-property visitors can purchase a band and have their tickets attached to it.

bands beforeThe bands come in grey, yellow, red, blue, orange and lime green. (Our original bands are shown in the photo to the right.) But what if you want something a little different? Well, I stumbled across a great thread on the Disboards about customizing your Magic Bands.

With a couple bottles of nail polish, I changed our magic bands.

CIMG2905Jase’s went from blue to purple (his favorite color). It took three coats of nail polish to hide the blue. I had purchased some glow in the dark nail polish from Amazon so that his and my husband’s magic bands could glow but that would change the color of his band too much. (The polish is a slight yellow color.) So we decided to just do the Mickey Mouse head imprint in the middle. How well this glows, we will have to see. I think it will be subtle.

CIMG2898Mine went from their blue to a pretty color called “sparkling water.” I love this color! I added some extra silvery glitter to the Mickey imprint in the middle of the band.

 

CIMG2908

My husband’s band went from grey to black. I know, not very exciting there, but it was what he wanted. His is the only band that needed the extender piece which is a dark grey piece that comes attached to every band. (You simply peel off this section for kids or for us adults with small wrists.) Again, we wanted to try out the glow in the dark polish. I did the Mickey imprint as well as the grey extender.

CIMG2901Lexie liked the original pink band, but we went ahead and painted it with a pink sparkly nail polish. She happened to see one of the bands on the decorating thread that had jewels, so she wanted those too. I pulled some out of our craft basket and used Gorillla glue to attach them. The only problem was the glue dried white and showed on two of the gems more than I would like. My husband tried to use an Exacto knife and remove the visible glue, but it still wasn’t good enough so I covered it up with a little pink sparkly nail polish.

On all the bands, I put two coats of clear nail polish.

Now on the Disboard thread, there were some people who drew elaborate pictures, added tattoos or stickers or added jewels to their magic bands. I didn’t want to spend tons of money (or time) on this. I bought four bottles of nail polish (blue, black, purple and glow in the dark) for a total of $13. I spent three evenings painting them. Overall, I am pleased with how they turned out and expect to get some compliments on our unique bands while at the parks.