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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Florida Resident Perk - Cheap Cruises!!

Florida Resident Perk - Cheap Cruises!!


We moved to the Orlando area to be next to Disney World, and we love visiting the parks!  We got another perk when we moved to Disney though ... cheap and convenient Caribbean and Bahamas cruises!! 



Before we became Florida locals we took cruises when we came on our Disney family vacation.  Now it's super easy and affordable to take a cruise when we want to because we're only 1+ hours from multiple ports!

We have Port Canaveral, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami to choose from, and since we work at home and homeschool the kids we can watch for cruise deals and book close to the sail date to save big bucks!

Last March we went on the Carnival Glory out of Miami for a 7 day cruise to Mexico and paid a fare of $289 per person (plus cruise port taxes + fees). That's a really good price for a week long cruise!


See photos from all of our cruises, just click the Instagram photo below!

http://instagram.com/sea_cruiser/

In August I found a 4 night cruise on the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas for just $199 pp - which I thought was great!  Elizabeth and I booked that cruise and took a trip without the kids, a Sisters Cruise!


You can watch the vlogs of our fun adventures on and off the ship below. We have a whole playlist dedicated to that cruise so make sure to subscribe and enjoy!


The very next month (exactly one month after our Sisters Cruise), we took another cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas with Mahnara and Zarius.  We loved the ship so much we just had to bring the kids, and we got an even better deal! $119 pp!!



With all three of our cruises last year we booked no longer than 14 days out, which is the way to go when it comes to cruise specials.

I know not everyone can just up and go on such short notice, but there's always cruise deals available, and I highly recommend Vacations To Go.  We've been booking our cruises with then since 2003!





Saturday, November 1, 2014

Our Halloween in Saint Augustine

Our Halloween in Saint Augustine


This year marked the very first year ever that we didn't stay home and trick-or-treat! We drove to Saint Augustine, which is about an hour and forty five minutes from Orlando for a night of fun!



We had the most amazing time, and look forward to going back next Halloween!  St. Augustine is an amazing city, not only the oldest city in the continental USA but also the most haunted! What better place to be on Halloween night?


The kids got to trick or treat, play at the park, walk around and scare people in the old town, pose for lots of photos, and try new experiences!

To me Saint Augustine was the perfect place to be, we couldn't have had any more fun if we tried!

Trick or treating is fun in Celebration, but it's so crowded, and we really were in the mood for a change.  We get to have Halloween so long here near Disney World we were ready for a new and exciting adventure!



The weather was perfect!  61 degrees and not a drop of humidity!!  Perfect Fall weather!!  Last Halloween here in Florida was quite warm, and it just wasn't the same.  We had been crossing our fingers for cool Halloween weather, and we got it!




Elizabeth, Mahnara, Zarius and I all dressed as zombies, and Trevon dressed as a character from "The Purge".  If you've watched the movies you'll recognize the costume.  He already had the clothes, he just purchased the bat and mask to complete the look.




His costume was quite popular in town, and he really gave a lot of people a scare!




Our night was filled with such fun adventure we couldn't possibly share it all here in words!  Make sure to visit us on YouTube and watch our video vlogs of our entire Halloween night, and "Like" us on Facebook for daily photos and fun!

~Amy


Monday, October 27, 2014

Volunteering as a Family


Volunteering as a family is such a fun and rewarding experience!!  This weekend we were "Game Keepers" at the Faith and Family Festival at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, and we had an amazing time!

The festival was a one day event on October 25th, and it is an annual event so if you have a Disney family vacation planned for this time next year and you're able to attend please try to!

Admission was $20 a person, and you could purchase an all day ride pass.  Lines were virtually non existent, and admission included all you could play games (there were 50 game booths), and TONS of free candy!

The kids rated that volunteer position as an 11 in a 1-10 experience ... which means they loved it!



We arrived before our shift so that we could enjoy some of the rides and games the festival had to offer, then ended up taking a double shift that night instead of playing!


We had a couple of hours of free time and the kids asked if we could see if they needed more help because volunteering was more fun than riding the rides.  That made me very happy and proud, and I was super excited when they said yes, they needed us!


For the first shift Mahnara and I worked in a disk tossing game booth, and Trevon and Zarius worked in a shooting booth.

During the second 2 hour shift I teamed up with Zarius and we ran the treasure chest booth (players had to find the silver coin!), and Elizabeth and Mahnara ran a booth where you had to get high or low numbers by rolling a ball into secions (it was difficult!).  



The kids loved it, and so did we!  They did all the talking and game running and we handed out candy as prizes.  Towards the end of the night there was so much candy left that we gave it out by the handfuls and made neat "grand prizes" with bags of candy for the lucky winner(s).

We came home with 13 gallons of candy from playing the games ourselves for about an hour, and we have plans to donate it.


Look for a vlog of our fun day volunteering and playing on LivingDisney on YouTube!  Volunteering is something that we love doing, and we're always looking for opportunities for us to volunteer as a family in the Central Florida area.


Our next volunteer adventure will be at the Tough Mudder in November, Elizabeth and I are really excited about that one.  Too bad the youngest kids can't come along, but there will be plenty of fun experiences in our volunteer future. ourdisneylife

Follow us on our Disney and Florida adventures daily on Facebook and Instagram!



Monday, October 20, 2014

Hanging Out with Mulan

Mulan Character Meet and Greet at Epcot


While enjoying the Food and Wine Festival this week we happened to run across Mulan!  It was completely unplanned, and really fun!!




We were just looking around the Temple of Heaven in the World Showcase and there she was, all by her lonesome!  As soon as she saw us she headed our way, along with the CMs designated to help her.

Since there was no one else around we really got to talk to Mulan and get to know her!


She's really fun, and nice!!  She showed us some different warrior poses and even talked about her training routine.  She spent time with the kids, and with Elizabeth.


There are lots of Disney character meet and greet spots at Epcot! We saw Mulan in the China Pavilion, she was standing in front of the Temple of Heaven and we were the first to see her!

Duffy is another fun character to meet.  In October he's dressed in his pumpkin outfit for Halloween, which is really cute!



What's your favorite Disney character?  Do you make meeting characters a priority on your Disney family vacation?  Comment below and let us know!

~Amy, Elizabeth, and family.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Journal Entry 9/1/14

Journal Entry 9/1/14

It's a new week, and a new month!!  Hello September!!!!!


Yesterday we spent the morning at Disney Hollywood Studios with Olaf, and we went shopping for Halloween Mickey ears.  We made a DHS shopping haul for the items we bought, check it out HERE!

We had planned on going to Mikey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tonight, the very first party of the season, but I'm sick so we decided to postpone it.  I'm so glad I didn't purchase my tickets in advance because then I would have had to go!!

We'll be going soon though, as soon as we all feel better.  September 19th is the first HHN, or Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, and we'll be attending.  I am very, very excited and very, very, very scared, lol.  I'm such a chicken!!  Watch for vlogs of all of the parties on LivingDisney YouTube!

September is always a fun month because it brings the end of summer, and my favorite season, Autumn!!

It also brings my youngest son's birthday (he'll be 12!!!), and my mom's birthday, along with MNSSHP in Disneyworld.

October is also great bringing Mahnara's birthday (12!!!), and my dad's birthday, and our favorite holiday, Halloween!!

Of course November and December are great holiday months also, and I'm super excited about all the fun we'll be enjoying this long Disney holiday season.

Make sure to "Follow Us" on Instagram for LIVE fun from the parks, and "Like" us on Facebook too!

Now, I'm off to put together an "Our Disney Life" vlog and finish getting ready for the big pin trading event we're attending at Epcot this week.

TTFN!
~Amy

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ourdisneylife 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Who's Ready to Party?

Who's Ready to Party?

Howdy folks!  I have waited an entire year to say this ... are you ready?  

It's time for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014!!!!!!!!



Woo-Hoo!!

Yes, I'm excited, can you tell?  Even after living near Disneyworld for years and years, and with more MNSSHP events under my belt than I can count, I still get giddy about attending the infamous Disney Halloween party each year!

Elizabeth, Mahnara, and Zarius and I will be partying this Monday the 1st of September, and as always we will be sharing our magical experience with you!

Make sure to get the most out of our fun (we want you to have fun too!!) by liking, subscribing, and following us here:

Instagram
YouTube
Facebook

TTFN!  Time to dig out the Halloween party duds from the closet and charge the camera battery for a night of spooky fun!
~Amy




Cruise Vlog Episode 1

Cruise Vlog Episode 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGe8IPiZlqk&list=UUsUaQ5eqcAnNDuUfo47MTHw

The first Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas "Sisters Cruise" vlog is now on YouTube for your  enjoyment!

In this episode we drive to Port Canaveral and board the ship!!

Just click the photo above to go to the movie and enjoy!  Make sure to subscribe!





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014 Disney Halloween Merchandise Shopping Tips!

2014 Disney Halloween Merchandise Shopping Tips!


About halfway through August each year holiday items start to appear!  Although there are no Fall or Halloween decorations up in the Disney Parks yet ... there is an abundance of Halloween goodies for sale in the parks and Downtown Disney Marketplace! secretsfromadisneylocal



We took a tour of all the neat things available this year and made a video of it for your enjoyment.  You can use the prices listed in the video to help you plan your Disney Halloween budget, and you can even purchase most of the items sold in the Disney World gift shops through DisneyStore.com!

Just click on the video below to see everything and make sure to Subscribe to our YouTube channel "Disney World Shopping", dedicated to sharing the magic of Disney World merchandise with you!


Halloween in Disneyworld has always been my favorite time of the year, and I can't wait to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 in just a few days!!♥




You may or may not know that Amy and I founded Disney World Personal Shopper back in 2012 and we shopped in the parks for others until late 2013. In 2014 we stopped shopping but continued to bring photos and videos, news and information about Disney World merchandise to our followers and fans.

Because we shopped so much in the parks and resorts we learned a lot!!  We want to share these tips for Halloween shopping with you so that you can get the items you want:

• Buy early!  Holiday items do sell out!!

• The stores that will have the most Halloween items for sale will be the Emporium in the Magic Kingdom and the World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

• You can find "bits and pieces" of the 2014 Disney Halloween merchandise throughout the parks and resort gift shops.

• The best resorts to shop for Halloween items are Port Orleans Resort Riverside and Art of Animation!!

• If you see it and like it, buy it!  One of the biggest problems guests have when shopping is not buying an item they want when they see it, then deciding to purchase it later in their vacation and not finding it.

• Did you know? If you just can't find that item that you'd like, and you don't want to run all around property searching for it, go the World of Disney in Downtown Disney and go to the Guest Information Desk located in the center of the store, in the section with the women's jewelry and purses. Give them a description of what you're wanting, and the size you need and they'll search their database and tell you which gift shop has it, or will most likely have it!!

• Shop all day and night and have your packages sent to either your Disney Resort or the front of the park for pick-up upon exiting the park for the day!  
*For park pick-up you must allow a minimum of 3 hours, so make sure you'll be in the park for at least three hours after your purchase.




Whether you'll be shopping for 2014 Disney Halloween Merchandise in the parks or from home, or just window shopping ... Happy Halloween from LivingDisney!





Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sister Cruise 2014

Sister Cruise 2014


Elizabeth and I just returned from our special "Sisters Only" cruise two days ago!  It was our very
first cruise on the Royal Caribbean cruise line, and our ship was the Enchantment of the Seas!



We took almost 1000 photos and we'll be posting a lot of them here in our trip reports, and we are posting some on our Instagram page: Sea_Cruiser.


You can watch cruise videos of us on the ship and in the ports of call on YouTube too!!

Stay tuned for lots of great photos, videos, and info here on LivingDisney.co!

theotherflorida

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Selfies!

Selfies!


Believe it or not I took my first selfie this month!!  Elizabeth say's I'm not very good at it, I always have issues angling the iPhone, lol.



I sure have fun trying though, and I'm getting better at it!  I never knew selfies would be so fun!




Do you take selfies?  If not, give it a try!  It really is fun, especially with your kids and friends!


I took this selfie of my baby Marshmellow giving cuddling with me after I returned home after a long and fun day in the parks.  He sure missed me, can you tell?



With the endless fun of being Universal Studios Orlando passholders and Walt Disney World passholders we have lots and lots of selfie opportunities!



Make sure to "Follow Us" on Instagram and "Like" us on Facebook to join along in the never ending adventures!




Oh, and no, Elizabeth and I are not twins.  I am two years and two months older than her.  :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Embarkation! Carnival Glory Cruise Trip Report; Chapter 3

Embarkation! Carnival Glory Cruise Trip Report; Chapter 3


After a hectic journey to Miami we were finally at the Miami Cruise Port and in line to board the ship!  While we waited we were treated to the view above!!  Boy how we couldn't wait to get on board!!



They recommend that you arrive at the port around 1pm, but we learned to come early!  We actually got to the terminal around 10 and there were just a small number of people in front of us.  The wait outside was short, and the excitement was high!




The kids hadn't been on a cruise since they were one, so they had no idea of the fun in store!

The boarding process was simple, and we were on the ship having lunch in the Lido before noon!!


It had been so long since I was on a ship, and I had dreamed about it for such a long time that the feeling was incredible! Words can not describe how happy I was to be on the Glory, and  how excited we all were for our two weeks of fun and adventure!!

The spread of food was amazing!  There were so many choices, including the Blue Iguana Cantina taco bar, and Guys Burger Joint.  The fare offered on the first day was different from any of the other days, and I tried quite a few yummy items.



The first thing I ordered was a burger from Guys Burger Joint, and sadly I didn't like it. The meat just tasted "off", so I didn't eat anymore burgers during the cruise.  I never got to try Blue Iguana ... time just flew too quickly!

I mainly ate Tuna sandwiches, drank soy milk, and ate Lucky Charms for breakfast, lol.  Those were my staples.

I do have to put it out there that I can't eat Nitrates or MSG, and I've been eating mostly natural foods since 1999 so I was cautious about a lot of dishes.  I have to say after a week of cruse eating that I had just started to develop some really irregular heartbeats (what I get when I eat too much MSG), so maybe there was some MSG in the foods I had been eating, and it was starting to bother me.

Regardless, as fun as eating on the ship was, I couldn't wait to disembark and get back to eating my greek yogurt for breakfast, and my simple steamed fish and veggies for lunch!  I think after any vacation you start to miss your normal daily stuff towards the end.


The view from the ship was spectacular!  Miami is such a gorgeous city on the water!!  We spent the afternoon exploring the ship and taking photos of the ships around us, and the skyline.


That first day on the ship was one of the best!!  I highly recommend getting to the port early so that you can get on the ship before the crowds do to eat and explore!!  


Here's some info about the Carnival Glory:

Holds 2980 passengers
Has a crew of over 1100
Is 952 feet
Has FunShip 2.0 features

It's an affordable ship, and I highly recommend checking my favorite website for deals, Vacations To Go.  They have a 90 Day Ticker for last minute deals, and we got a great one on our fares!


All the photos that I've shared with you today were taken by my iPhone 5S - amazing right?  The bright blue Florida sky really made the perfect backdrop! theotherflorida

Make sure to watch for Chapter 4 here on our Disney family blog soon!