I know Halloween was last week, but I wanted to share some of my experiences and pictures from my Disney Cruise last week. Halloween on the High Seas was a new celebration added this year by DCL to some of their fall itineraries. Having not been on a cruise before, I thought this was a cool added bonus to be able to experience Halloween on the Disney Dream.
When I boarded the ship I was so excited to see decorations right as we entered the atrium in the form of the Pumpkin Tree. I also noticed quite a few decorations on decks 3 and 4 in particular in the common areas. There were several activities spread out over the four day cruise to the Bahamas for Halloween that I wanted to see. As much as I wanted to, I could not get to them all, but the ones I went to were quite fun.
The characters were featured in Halloween costumes in the atrium for Mickey’s Mousequerade Party, which was great fun. Kids and parents alike participated as well, dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, and playing fun games and having a dance party. I also got to see the first part of the story of the Pumpkin Tree, which was quite a fun addition. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to make it back to see the second half of the story due to a conflict with show schedules, but was able to see the Pumpkin Tree in bloom. Also, each of the three rotational restaurants had really cool pumpkins carved and Halloween decorations at their entrances.
If you get a chance, I highly recommend booking a cruise for next year over the fall season with the hopes that Halloween on the High Seas will occur again on the Disney Cruise Line ships. As always, things are subject to change, but I hope they will bring back this fun celebration in the future.
As some of you may know, I am planning my first Disney Cruise coming up in a couple weeks. This was a very last minute trip, but I had kind of set aside the time off from the beginning of the year in hopes I’d be able to snag a cruise deal. I have literally dozens of friends and family members who have been on Disney and other cruises, but my mom and I have never been. The internet and friends have been a great source of knowledge, but I still feel like a fish out of water.
For someone who considers themself somewhat of a Walt Disney World expert, it is more than a little humbling realizing how different cruising is and how much I don’t know. What kind of cruise should I book? What stateroom type should I reserve? Should I start out with a shorter cruise since I’ve not been before? What is rotational dining? How much should I expect to spend above and beyond the cost of the cruise, taxes, tips, etc.? What are the absolute must dos on a Disney Cruise (where is Stacey when I need her)? These are just a fraction of the questions that are flying through my mind with under two weeks left to go before my cruise.
We decided on a four night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream that leaves on 10/27. I am so stoked to be going over the Halloween on the High Seas celebration to see what kind of fun extras are going to be added to the ship. I think the one tip that has been more prevalent than any other is to not miss out on brunch at Palo on my sea day. It isn’t available to book online since we booked so last minute, but we are hoping to get the chance to book it as soon as we board the Dream. I’ve found the FAQs on the Disney Cruise website to be helpful in answering a lot of my questions, but I’m still undecided on some things like whether to drive and park nearby or to have a friend drop us off and pick us up at the Port. I have been told not to bother getting off the ship in the Bahamas, but I’ve never been out of the country, so I want to go and explore at least for a few hours before heading back to the almost empty ship to explore.
I’ve looked at sample Personal Navigators from recent sailings on the Dream, so I at least have some idea of what to expect for onboard entertainment and such. One of the cooler things that is brand new that I’m looking forward to checking out is the Navigator App for Apple or Android devices using the ship’s complimentary wifi for the exclusive use of this app. They have just added new functionality where guests can use the app for messaging, I’m assuming similar to texting, to be able to communicate with others in their party while on the ship. I can’t wait to sit on our verandah with a book, or a glass of wine, watching the sun setting over the horizon.
There is so much I want to see and do on the cruise, like the stage shows, catching first run movies, pirates night, riding the Aquaduck, checking out the Rainforest Room in the spa, enjoying fantastic food, checking out activities like wine tastings, relaxing in the hot tub, and much more. It will be interesting as this is my first real vacation not going to a theme park or specifically to visit family or friends. I will try to balance my desire to do it all with the need to relax above all else. Do you have any tips for this first time cruiser? What do you wish you had known before taking your first Disney Cruise?
Yesterday marked the anniversary for both Walt Disney World‘s Magic Kingdom (43rd) and Epcot (32nd). I had the great fortune to be able to celebrate these parks’ respective 40th and 30th fireworks celebrations. For the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom in 2011, a group of friends and I had a spectacular experience renting out the Grand 1 Yacht from the Grand Floridian for a unique perspective of these special fireworks. In 2012, I also had a great view of the fireworks at Epcot thanks to friends from the upper level of the Japan pavilion. To commemorate these two great parks and their anniversaries, I’d like to share some of the fantastic fireworks pictures I was able to capture.
First, a few shots of the Grand 1. If you aren’t familiar with this beautiful yacht, it is docked at the Grand Floridian and guests may reserve it for a fee for a specialty cruise scheduled in the evening for the fireworks, for a private lunch with a butler, or just a cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. The yacht can accommodate up to 18 guests plus the captain and deckhand. If you get a chance to do this at any time, but especially for a special fireworks occasion like Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve, I highly recommend getting a group together to experience this awesome vessel. We had the yacht for a couple hours before the fireworks, so we cruised back and forth around Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, the Contemporary, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian before settling in to watch the Electrical Water Pageant just feet in front of us. We then were positioned almost directly in front of the train station for the fireworks with some slight drifting with the current it was a magnificent view!
Epcot’s 30th was a fantastic combination of Illuminations and then paying homage to classic Epcot attractions and music with gorgeous fireworks.
Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp October 11-14, 2014!
Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp will take on THREE NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks!
Designed as the ultimate stock car experience for racing enthusiasts, The Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp gives YOU the chance to experience the thrill of driving hundreds of laps on three of NASCAR’s most historic tracks; Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Martinsville Speedway over the course of three days, with feedback and coaching provided by industry experts … and legends.
Plus…you and your guest will take in the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the comfort of a VIP trackside suite.
The legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway
The historic ‘Lady in Black”, Darlington Raceway
The challenging short track at Martinsville Speedway
CELEBRITY INSTRUCTION AND APPEARANCES BY*:
Dale Inman, winningest crew chief in NASCAR history
Randy LaJoie, two-time Nationwide series champion
Our accomplished team of Petty instructors
… and, of course, rubbing elbows with “The King” himself, Richard Petty!
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
VIP treatment (for camp participant and one guest) during Saturday’s Bank of America 500 race
Lunch and dinner events (for camp participant and one guest)
Luxurious four night accommodations (for camp participant and one guest)
Exclusive tour of original Petty Enterprises race shop in Level Cross, NC hosted by Dale Inman
Great gifts that will include custom apparel, in-car video and commemorative photos
…and the racing tales that our team of legends and experts will share, throughout the camp
The registration fee is $9,500 (plus tax). Experience Rewards members receive a $500 discount.Contact us at 704.454.6224 or email@example.com to secure your place!
25% Off Driving Experiences at Daytona International Speedway and Walt Disney World Speedway for Florida residents – This year join the Richard Petty Driving Experience and bring out the PETTY in your loved-ones and get all the people on your list what they really want for the Holidays – an experience that will last a lifetime – and the opportunity to drive a NASCAR race car! Florida residents can reserve driving experiences at Daytona International Speedway or Walt Disney World Speedway and receive 25% off, click here for details. Driving Experiences start at $449 – your price only $336.75!
$59 Ride-Alongs– You‘re in the passenger seat riding shotgun for 3 thrilling laps at speeds up to 165mph with our Ride-Along Experience. Now for a limited time we are offering our Ride-Along, valued at $99-$135, at special Holiday pricing starting at $59! Click here to save!
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Rules and regulations apply. To receive your 25% off a reserved driving experience please click on the button above to continue to our site. Your discount will be displayed at time of checkout. Must present your Florida driver’s license at the track during check-in of your driving experience. Discounts are not valid on Driver Release fee, applicable state sales tax, gift cards, group events or previous purchases. Offers can also be purchased by calling 1.800.237.3889 with promotion code Holiday13RPDE25. To purchase a Ride-Along please click on the button above or call 1.800.237.3889. Offers expire 1/2/14.
I don’t know about you, but I love Halloween! It is such a fun time of year with all the parties going on everywhere!
Last year was little man’s first Halloween, but at 6 months, he was more cute than anything else. We didn’t do too much more than a “costume” and some pictures. This year he’s big enough to go and have fun!
I jumped on the opportunity to take him to SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular this year! Costumes, candy, dance parties and characters, what fun!!
We really had a great time at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular! Overall it seemed to REALLY be geared towards the little ones, and that was perfect for us. My favorite things are that this special event is included in your regular park admission, it is during regular park hours (i.e. no late nights!) and there are lots of activities going on during Spooktacular!
Little man’s favorite things are the bubbles everywhere, the trick or treat trail (where he could hold his bag closed and try to give his candy/snacks back to people), the dance party and the characters!
One of the things available at a small addition fee was cookie decorating. He had so much fun playing with his cookie and eating it!
It wasn’t very crowded at all while we were there, it was quite nice! Unfortunately this event is only available a few days in the season – just weekends in October, so we were only able to go once. Next year it is definitely on our must do list! Have you been to SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular? What was your favorite part?
Weekly Review September 17-21, 2012 – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Week And More
Weekly Review time!!! This past week here at On the Go has been full of great stuff, and it has been a little different since we double posted with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party information about week!!!
Also, we added a new contributor, Beth, to the site! Welcome Aboard!!!
Now it’s time to look back at all that happened September 17-21!!!
The Winter Park Sip and Stroll is coming up on September 27th, and it will celebrate the city’s 125th Anniversary of Incorporation!
We started our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party coverage with Tip, Tricks, and Information. There is so much to do and see at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!!!
Then we looked at the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Merchandise with prices. These tend to go quickly, so if you are attending a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party you will want to definitely go in search of these items early!
Weekly Review time!!! This past week here at On the Go has been full of great stuff, and now it’s time to look back at all that happened September 3-7!!!
Let’s get this party started!!!
We started the week with a look at SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team’s efforts to save stranded pilot whales. SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team, along with several local agencies, responded on September 1, 2012, to 22 short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Florida’s Avalon State Park Beach in St. Lucie County.
Wordless Wednesday took us to one of my favorite moments in Wishes!
Scared Shrekless Family Fun is coming to the Gaylord Palms Resort this Halloween offering guests the opportunity to scare up some fun with their favorite characters from Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda!
Betsy took us along on the final leg of her Disneyland in this amazing Trip Report!
We also took a look at the adorable The Tigger Movie that is out now on Blu-Ray.
And we ended the week with a giveaway that would make any woman happy…A chance to win a pair of Custom Christian Louboutin shoes! In honor of Disney’s global release of the classic animated masterpiece “Cinderella”, which will be available in Blu-ray™ Diamond Edition on October 2, 2012, Walt Disney Studios, in collaboration with Christian Louboutin and Glam Media, today reveal details of their national quest to find a modern-day Cinderella. One lucky woman whose style and fashion sense best embodies the Cinderella fairytale will ultimately be awarded with a pair of original Cinderella slippers re-imagined by world-renowned shoe designer Christian Louboutin during a private event at Disneyland, CA taking place on September 27th.
Thanks for joining us our Weekly Review at On the Go, and we can’t wait to bring you even more posts next week!!! We’ll be covering Nights of Joy at the Magic Kingdom, Disney on Ice: Rockin’ Ever After, LEGOLAND going to galaxies far away, and a ghostly Titanic Experience!
Weekly Review: August 27 – August 31, 2012: Our Week on The Go!
Hidden Gems of WDW, Orlando City Soccer, Halloween at LEGOLAND Florida, Magic Kingdom in the Fall, And Solar Bears Hockey
Its Weekly Review Time!!!! This past week here at On the Go has been full of great stuff, and its almost my favorite time of year which makes me even more excited about all that is going on around Orlando! Now it’s time to look back, with our Weekly Review, at all that happened her at On the Go in MCO August 27th to August 31st!!!
A few weeks ago some of us On The Go ladies decided to have a impromptu Girls Night Out! Shalon, Megan and I decided to head to Universal Studios City Walk for some festive drinks and music!
We started out at Red Coconut for a few fruity and POTENT Cocktails! I only have one picture of my Lovely WhipTini but let me tell you that their martinis are TO DIE FOR! They have signature drinks and they always make them with extra love 😉
Dance to live music every Thursday through Saturday night. On all other evenings a DJ spins popular tunes into the wee hours of the night. Every Thursday is Ladies’ night with free admission for ladies.
Hours: Open seven nights a week Sun – Thurs 8 pm to 2 am and Fri – Sat 6 pm to 2 am Charges: Cover is $7, tax included, after 9 pm or as part of the CityWalk Party Pass Phone: For more information, please call the Red Coconut Club Line at 407-224-2425.
Admission is 21 and older and dress code is casual-chic. Attire: Casual-Chic
After we got our drinks we decided to head over to Rising Star! Rising Star is one of my favorite places. Not only do you get to sing Karaoke style but you get a back up band and back up singers!!! They have a VERY extensive list of songs. I wish I could tell you how they pick each singer each night but it seems like a crap shoot lol. There are song lists and sign up forms when you walk in. You choose TWO songs and write them on the slips, you place them in a bucket on the stage and wait… and wait… and sometimes wait…. and wait still yet. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how the choosing is done. My suggestion is to pick a up beat and fun song, those seem to be picked more than slow songs. When we got there I immediately put my two song choices down and ordered a drink. The girls and I loved watching the other people on stage. Some are amazing and some are…. let us say less then so 😉 We were having a great time being impatient! Finally my name was on the list! So I went downstairs to I wouldn’t be late! I am sharing this with you all because I love you…. lol. No judging allowed…. well at least not in comments 🙂
Was it my best? No. Was it a Blast? YES! The backup singers and dancers were so much fun and having a live band behind you instead of just recorded music was a blast. I am looking forward to heading back after this summer when it isn’t as busy for some more singing fun! I also plan on entering their annual Karaoke contest at the end of the summer!
Enjoy karaoke nightly. Tuesday through Saturday nights you can perform with a live band and backup singers, with a host keeping the show moving. Sunday and Monday evenings feature a host, live backup singers and recorded tracks. There’s a large selection of song titles to choose from, in a variety of tempos and styles from hard rock to country ballads to favorite standards. Hours: Open nightly from 8 pm – 2 am Info: Tuesday – Saturday: Live band with backup singers & host
Sunday & Monday: Backup singers and host Cover: $7, no charge to sing
CityWalk Party Passes accepted
Full Bar with signature cocktails
We decided that it was time to shake out tail feathers for the remainder of the night so we headed over to The Groove. Who can pass up dancing with the girls? The place was packed but we got some shaking in and people watched which is always fun as well!
Dance to the best in Top 40, Hip-Hop, R&B and Top Pop Hits. There’s a DJ every night, and occasional appearances by live performers. It’s a different experience every evening!
Hours: Open 9 pm – 2 am 7 days a week Charges: Cover is $7, tax included Must be 21 and older Attire: Casual chic; no hats or tank tops
If you want to take a break from the dance floor there are multiple bars and three themed lounges – the cool Blue Room, which has a futuristic sci-fi feel; the sizzling and romantic Red Room; and the tranquil Green Room, which has a 70’s vibe.
Overall, I love City Walk. It is awesome that you can get lots of different club vibes in one area. We didnt go to Bob Marley or Pat O’Briens this time but rest assured, we will be back! Their dining options are great too! I have NOTHING but good things to say about the fried pickles at Margaritaville! And I will always recommend stopping by the Long Palm Bar and picking up a VooDoo Juice !!!!!!
I can not wait to show you readers out next Girls Night Out activity!!!! We have all sorts of fun things planned!!!!!
Looking for an opportunity to volunteer in the UCF area? Or are you looking for a 5K to run? Are you a huge college sports fan? If you answered yes, you might want to check out the Inaugural Orlando Health Gridiron 5K Challenge, that our friends at the Central Florida Sports Commission have created!
Check out our review of the latest Disney Chanel Original Movie Let It Shine on DVD and enter for your chance to win a copy!
Shalon put together an awesome video highlighting our experience at the Orlando City Soccer Club game against Stoke City!!!
CELEBRITY SIGHTING!!! Betsy shares her day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios complete with a Tom Cruise sighting at Toy Story Midway Mania!!!!!
LEGOLAND Florida announced their Brick-Or-Treat Halloween Event that will take place later this fall! It looks like it’s going to be a really family-friendly way to celebrate with your favorite ghosts and goblins!
This Friday all of us sat down to share our favorite ways to Beat the Heat in the Parks just in time for the dog days of summer in our latest Roundtable discussion!
And we rounded out our week, with Megan looking back at the first in our Florida Adventures Series with our Paddleboarding, SUP, experience with East Coast Paddle in New Smyrna Beach, Florida!
Thanks for joining us this week at On the Go, and we can’t wait to bring you even more posts next week!!!
When I moved to Florida I made an effort to see and do a lot of the things that you can do in the Orlando area. I stumbled across a Living Social deal for a monster truck off-road Eco-Tour in Clermont at the end of the summer last year. It was such a good deal and the eco tour sounded fun so I got a few tickets and promptly forgot about them. It ended up being a good thing that I forgot about them because the best time to go on the eco tour is when oranges are in season.
I picked a Saturday in December to take the Eco-Tour. We got there just in time to check in and climb (yes, climb) into the monster truck before we headed off into the orange groves. Having grown up in the northeast I had visited many apple orchards, but this was my first time on an orange grove. It was really neat to see the trees dotted with the orange fruit, but it was even more amazing since I was riding above them!
One of the first things we learned from our guide was that the grove was one of the suppliers for Florida’s Natural orange juice and that the grove was all organic. The tour brought us past the fields and orange groves and through a forest where our guide told us about the local plants. Before long we were at a new large field with cows running towards the monster truck. I was afraid we were going to hit them but these cows knew what they were doing.
Our driver parked the truck near a lake and we were told to pull out baskets from under the benches. The baskets were full of oranges that we were able to toss off the truck to the cows. They loved them. According to our driver, they’ve tried to feed the cows other types of citrus fruits, including grapefruit, but the cows only like the oranges. Once all of the oranges were tossed, we continued on our tour, including driving through a deep river. Since it was December, it was too cold for us to be spotting any gators.
After our tour we were able to go off and explore the pick your own. With the exceptions of the pomellos, you are able to sample all of the oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and other fruit. My favorite one that I sampled was the Orlando tangelo. It was amazingly sweet and delicious. Down one of the rows, I saw an old pickup truck that was just screaming classic Florida. Of course I had to stop and get pictures.
The Eco-Tour is $20 per adult and $10 per child, with group discounts available. Entrance to the groves is free and you only pay for the fruit you take home. Current prices according to their website are $20 per bushel and $10 per half bushel. There is a country store where you can also pick up some homemade goods and other country goodies.
I highly recommend visiting the Showcase of Citrus if you want a relaxing day away from the parks. The best times to visit are in the fall and winter when the fruit is in season, though they are open in the summer too. Check out their website for more details on how to schedule a tour.