This is a Guest Post written by my friend Amy Hessel~~Owner of Just a Spoonful of Sugar. I am so excited to have a guest writer on the site! Thank you so much Amy! In this post Amy tells us about the Walt Disney World Planning Process!
Walt Disney World Planning Process
As a travel agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, I can attest to just how much planning goes into a Walt Disney World trip! Ideally, booking seven months out is recommended. ADR (Disney speak for Advanced Dining Reservations) windows for booking open at 180 days before your arrival, and you want to have your resort and package picked out by then!
When staying on property, guests can book up to 10 days after their arrival, which gives you a leg up on scoring a reservation at some of the most popular restaurants. Guests staying off property will have to go online or call in for each day of their vacation to book an ADR. Sure, there are some restaurants that you can get a reservation at without any problem, but if you want to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Le Cellier, or many other very popular restaurants, you typically need to be online the moment your reservation window opens.
Making dining reservations is my absolute favorite part of the planning process. For me, that is when the trip becomes reality! I love going over all of the menus, looking at reviews, and picking both my favorites and new restaurants to try. For my clients, I listen to their needs, learn about their likes and dislikes, and help suggest which restaurants will be the best fit for them. I think for my clients, this is also the moment that their vacation goes from the abstract to concrete. It is certainly exciting when you first book your trip but knowing that your dining plans have been made, and you are only six months away from your vacation is an incredible feeling!
After the mad rush to book dining, there is a break before you will need to start planning your FastPass+ reservations. Again, there is an advantage to staying on property, with booking opening at 60 days before arrival, compared to 30 days out for those staying off property. This means, guests staying on property have a much better chance of getting a FastPass for the newly opened Frozen Ever After in Epcot, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and other popular attractions. At 60 days out, guests can also check in online.
30 days prior to arrival, final payment is due, and Magic Bands will be getting ready to ship! The final countdown is on!
Visit the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Old City Colorado. I love the Broadmoor Hotel and have seen it for many years on the outside. This year I wanted to see some of it on the inside. The Broadmoor Hotel is a Forbes five-star Hotel and an AAA Five-Diamond Hotel.
My family, and I went inside and had lunch at La Taverne in the famous Broadmoor Hotel! This restaurant was just beautiful inside with its 16-foot chandelier. It also brings the outdoors inside with plants, florals and a covered room with sunlights. It is one of the prettiest places I have eaten in. They call it the Le Jarden room and it was astonishing! I did not know that it was famous for it’s for it steaks they are all-natural, and they also have fresh seafood. The Broadmoor’s steakhouse features all natural American raised USDA prime Creekstone Farms 30 day aged Angus Beef. Creekstone Farms USDA prime is served only at the finest steakhouses in the country. There are several more restaurants on the property.
After my family and I had eaten our lunch, we looked around inside the building and in the outside shops. I saw ancient wine in glass cases. I wondered if you could still drink it. We toured several different sights inside the famous Broadmoor Hotel. Some of the rooms went outside and were perfect for some picture taking.
Next, we went and looked at the shops. There were many different ones. I loved the gift shop it had some nice souvenirs. I did not want to leave there was so much more to see. The Broadmoor Hotel is enormous, and we were out of time. I can hardly wait to visit it again and maybe stay a few nights in their magnificent rooms and maybe go horseback riding. There are many different activities at the resort including a Spa! The Broadmoor Hotel is a family place and worth a stop if you are in the area of Colorado Springs, Colorado!
It is very exciting to go to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party and yes I am going! Many people ask if the extra ticket price is worth it. In my opinion, yes, yes, yes it is! There is so much to do! There are; Special Disney Character Appearances, Villains Mix and Mingle live on Stage, Club Villain, Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball, Hallowishes the fireworks extravaganza, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade which is one of my favorites and so much more! The decorations on Main Street are always so incredible. Also, I love the mesmerizing effect when the color changes on the buildings with the not-so-scary music in the background. I heard from the “Smiling Ghosts” that Main Street has over 200 different face carved pumpkins for Halloween! The Characters are also in special places dressed in their finest party costumes. There is special party merchandise to buy, and special party treats to eat. The pictures of the goodies look frighteningly good! The Happy Hallowishes Desert Premium Package is a separate ticketed event with special seating for the fireworks included!
To begin with I suggest that you eat first. We ate at the, Liberty Tree Tavern which has excellent food! I had forgotten how good the food was there. It has an all-you-can eat family style meal of; turkey, pork, beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade cranberry sauce, and rolls. While we ate we planned our night. It was a wonderful meal! We made prior reservations. This is a must on a party night or you might not be able to just walk up and get in! If you do not want to take so much time on a sit down meal there are many choices of counter service meals also.
The time goes very quickly at the party. It just flies and before you know it midnight strikes and the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. It is a very good idea to have a plan of what you want to do the most before midnight strikes and the party is over. Our number one priority was to see Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Parade. Our group decided to go to the late parade. There are two times for the parade. I also wanted to trick-or-treat, ride several rides, and have our picture made with, The Hitch-Hiking-Ghosts.
We started riding rides and trick-or-treating. So many trick-or-treating locations on the map. A Cast Member reminded me that at the 8:30 parade was a good time to ride the rides with the longer lines. Most noteworthy of the party is the short lines for the rides.
After riding several rides, and trick-or-treating in several places, having a few photo’s made, and watching Hallowishes it was already time to find a place for the parade. The parade was wonderful with, The Headless Horseman first, following with the floats, music, lights and, Characters. Next, on the way out we went to the Fire Station and received our collector card of, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. The night was over already. It was a super fun, happy, and ghostly night! Hurry before all of the parties are full! You will be sure to have a BOO-TO-YOU night!
There is an award winning restaurant for lunch at, Islands of Adventure Theme Park inside Universal Orlando Resort®. It is called Mythos Restaurant® and you might just walk past it. Walk back by the where the rocks, waterfalls and ancient figures are carved into the side of the restaurant. There it is located in the Lost Continent part of the park just past Seuss Landing. Actually inside it looks like a cave underwater and is very mystic themed. It was a winning theme Park Restaurant in 2010 (3rd place), 2003-2009 (1st place). Information provided by, Theme-park insider. The kitchen is open so you can see the chef’s preparing your food! I think it is so fun to see the kitchen.
My son and I have eaten at Mythos Restaurant® several times and have not been disappointed. It is one of our favorite places to eat! This is a full-service restaurant that serves American fare at a reasonable price. The food and service is really incredible! There is also a really nice view of the park in the lower seats which include, The Incredible Hulk Coaster®. I love the view!
The butter for the bread has, Universal Orlando® on it. I think it is a wonderful detail to go with the scrumptious bread. This is a wonderful place to eat and I think you will really like it! Mythos Restaurant® is perfect on a hot day for air-conditioning, a table to rest those weary feet from walking, and fantastic food. Make sure and check it out on your next trip! Do not forget to make reservations since Mythos Restaurant® is only open for lunch and it fills up very quickly.
When I go to the Walt Disney World Resort® Hollywood Studios theme park, my son and I just love to eat in the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater restaurant in the car tables! This restaurant is reminiscent of times gone by when drive in theaters were in their prime. When I was a little girl my Grandmother always took our family to the drive in theater, named the, Big Chief Drive-In Theater. I just loved to go there it was such a treat! Since in the old days we did not have any electronics to play with. No, not even a car phone. The Drive-in always had good food and popcorn, and entertainment for the whole family!
The Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater has the atmosphere of the old drive-in theaters. It re-creates the fun I had as a child. The tables are made to look like cars from the 1950’s. They are very realistic in taking you back to the earlier time. There are also speakers made to look like the ones in the real drive-ins. When you look up there are stars in the sky. There is also a screen with cartoons and science fiction trailers which play in a continuous loop.
In my opinion the food is very good and not too expensive. Burgers, Reuben Sandwiches, ribs, shrimp pasta are served. There is also macaroni and cheese for the kids. I just love their milkshakes! They are just super!
The next time you go to the Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World® give the Sci-Fi a try! There is also a 1950’s replica of a car outside for a souvenir picture. I think you will really think it is an amazing atmosphere, and do not forget to order one of those fantastic milk shakes! The only thing missing is the popcorn! Oh, and watch out for that speeding ticket!