October 14, 2015

Check In: A Little About Me

I thought it would be nice to change it up a little, and tell you about myself. It’s hard to read a blog and not know anything about the person who is doing all the writing. I figured I could do this every once in a while, and share any life updates with all of you. I want this blog to be about my life as well, not just about Disney (although that it a big part of my life). So here’s a little bit about me.

The Lookout

If you don’t already know, I’m Kelsey. I’m in my early twenties and I still live at home, because my family situation is a little different. As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts my sister Alexandra has a disability. She has Cerebral Palsy, and is in a wheelchair. Part of the reason I still live at home is to help my parents with my sister. We also have a dog Mandy (named after Mandy Moore, she’s 12).  You may also know (or seen pictures) of my boyfriend Ethan. He lives with us too! We are in the process of doing some renovations at my house, building a room and bathroom in our basement, eventually for Alex but for now for Ethan and I. So, because our room is being drywalled right now we are living in my old room. Long story short, everything from my old room is currently in the dining room, making it difficult to schedule posts when some things I need are in the mess of the dining room! So I’ve moved some posts around a little and am excited for what it coming up! So there’s a little bit of background on my home life. I’m also working full time and do cakes in my spare time (you can see an example of one of my cakes on my About Me page).

This is from my graduation from Small Business Entrepreneurship

This is from my graduation from Small Business Entrepreneurship

My puppy!

My puppy!

Now having this blog, working and baking does take up a lot of my time, but I still am happy to relax a bit every night.  I’ve recently gotten into watching YouTube, it started before my last trip to Walt Disney World. I would watch people Vlogging from Walt Disney World and started watching their other vlogs. I watch four channels regularly. Gillianathome because she loves Disney, and is from Toronto (yay Canadians!), Kyleandcourt because there family is awesome, and they love Disney, Beingmommywithstyle because she loves Disney, and her youngest daughter Natalie is hilarious, and Seeyareelsoon because Joe and Ashley are entertaining and most of their vlogs happen while they are in Disney. The names of the YouTube channels I watch are listed just as that, in case you want to check them out! 🙂 YouTube really is a community, like blogging, so it’s always fun to see what’s new. I also love to read and watch a few tv shows regularly. Right now I watch Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris because of NPH, Survivor (yes I still watch it, and LOVE it), Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, and The Walking Dead. Watching YouTube for me is like watching aTV show so I feel like I have more on the go than I do. Ethan and I are trying to get into the habit of being more active, and taking pictures more often! Some of the above pictures were taken on a recent trip to Huntsville for a wedding, in which we hiked to the Lookout.

I couldn't help but put a Disney picture in here!

I couldn’t help but put a Disney picture in here!

Also, in case anyone would like to be pen pals, I have a PO box for the blog!

A Disney Obsession

PO Box 18203

Steeple Hill Postal Outlet PO

Pickering, Ontario, Canada

L1V 0B8

I hope this post has given you a little insight into my life, and let me know if you like posts like this! I’m also always thinking of blog post ideas so if there is something you would like to see on the blog let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading!

Kelsey
October 7, 2015

Festival of Fantasy Parade

This is the newest parade at Walt Disney World, and I love it! It was really fun for me following along with Disney Parks Blog, to see the parade from when it was first announced in April 2013, and finally seeing it in person this past February. You can check the announcement post out here. I’ve never experienced something from concept sketches to seeing it in real life , so it was something very special for me. I ended up watching the parade sort of by fluke, saying “I don’t really need to see it” for almost two days in Magic Kingdom. Ethan and I were in Tomorrowland and started to see crowds lining up by the curbs of the hub and Main Street U.S.A.  It was one of those conflicting moments; do we go on rides while the crowds are lower? Or do we watch the newest parade in Walt Disney World. PARADE!! I’m so glad I saw it, and I took A LOT of pictures. I took so many pictures that I could basically replay the parade in pictures, but I don’t want to ruin it so I will only put some pictures in. Enjoy!

Beauty and the Beast

Anna and Elsa

Tangled Dress

It is such a bright, colourful parade, and I loved the music. It showcases a lot of the newer movies but doesn’t forget the classics, The costumes are so detailed I just couldn’t stop taking pictures!

Under the Sea

I think my favourite part was Maleficent in dragon form. It was amazing to see up close!

Maleficent

Breathing Fire

The parade is available as a Fastpass+ (reserved seating in a great spot) so if you are a parade lover I would suggest using a Fastpass+ for it. If not, you can stake out a spot 1 hour to 45 minutes before the parade. Ethan and I walked up about 10 minutes before it started, and were standing behind people who were sitting on the curb of Main Street.

Balloon Dress

Smiling and Dancing

Mickey and Minnie

I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them, and I hope you will want to see the Festival of Fantasy Parade next time you are in Walt Disney World!

Have you see Festival of Fantasy? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Kelsey
September 30, 2015

My Walt Disney World Strategy

To expand a little more from last week’s post, I thought I would give a little insight into how I approach the parks during my vacations. Not everyone will be able to take this approach, but hopefully you can try some of the things I do to be successful in the parks! I have adapted this strategy during my last two trips (May 2013 and February 2015) and they have worked really well for Ethan and I.

Be There for Rope Drop

What’s rope drop you ask? It’s when the park first opens. And you should be there. Getting to the parks early is a key part of my strategy in the parks. The first few hours of the day is the time when the parks are the least busy, so you can do the most popular attractions with the lowest crowds. I’m serious. And if you arrive early at Magic Kingdom, there is even an opening show, complete with a countdown and some fireworks! It is AWESOME! In most cases, Cast Members actually have a rope holding back the line, and they will walk you to the different areas of the park. More on that below.

Welcome Show

When Ethan and I went to Walt Disney World in 2013, I had heard about rope drop from The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and really wanted to try it. We made it to most of the parks pretty early, but only to official rope drop on Animal Kingdom day. We were there 20-30 minutes before park opening, and were near the front of the line. We were roped off, and the crowd finally started moving. Everyone was heading to Discovery Island (where the Tree of Life is located) and I’m not really sure how, but Ethan and I managed to get away from the crowd. We went the Dino-rama route, and it was quite funny. It was us versus the crowd. We could see the crowd across the way, inching closer to Mount Everest. Would we beat them? Should we run for it?! We kept looking back and sped up! We walked quite fast, and were the 4th and 5th guests in line for Expedition Everest. It was really neat to be on the first train of the morning, although there was some dew on the seats. Just to paint a picture of how fast the lines move, we rode Expedition Everest 4 times in less than 20 minutes. It is the most popular ride at Animal Kingdom. 20 minutes people! Waking up early does have it advantages! If you can make it to the park for rope drop, it is definitely worth it!

 

Fastpass +

Fastpass + is free! And it gets you onto your favourite rides faster! February was my first trip using this new system, and I have to say I liked it! You know which fast passes you have well in advance (up to 60 days before your trip), and you don’t have to have someone run to all of the different rides to get fast passes for your party. I will be doing a post that goes into depth about the new system, so make sure to keep an eye out for it! Now you can also get Fastpass+ for nighttime shows and parades, securing your spot without having to worry. Definitely something to take advantage of on your next trip!

Take a break

Especially if you make it to the parks for rope drop, you’re going to need a break! I like to take a rest during the busiest time of the day (early afternoon). It’s when kids are at their crankiest, and when it’s the hottest. It just screams break time to me. I head back to my hotel, take a nap, or just lounge around for a little. I haven’t been one to swim during this time, but if you are travelling with kids who won’t want to nap it would be a perfect time to do so. I’m not sure how I made it through some of my previous trips without taking breaks! During my last trip there were only two days where we didn’t take a break, but they were days that were a little slower paced. Basically, if you go crazy every day and are there from park open to close, you aren’t going to make it through your vacation! You are going to be tired when you get home from Walt Disney World no matter what, but this way you won’t be quite as tired!

The Tree of Life

Get the Dining Plan

I’ve discussed the dining plans before here, and gave my opinion on whether or not it’s worth it. By the title of this section, I’m sure you can guess where I stand. Having a sit down meal a day gives my days a little bit of structure, without taking a lot of time from your day. Not having the dining plan on our last trip meant looking at food a little more closely, and seeing how much we were spending every day. Having the dining plan is much more relaxing, and that’s what you want to do while you are on your vacation! Depending on the level of dining plan you purchase, it doesn’t mean you will be eating burgers and pizza the whole time, Disney does food really well.

Eat a small breakfast

This is a recommendation for those purchasing the Disney Dining plan, more specifically the ones with only two meals. I found that eating a small breakfast or sometimes even just coffee was great. It helped us get to the parks faster in the morning, and when the meals rolled around that we used our dining credits for we could take advantage of the large servings. When you are getting the dining plan you have paid for it in advance, but it is only covering 2 meals per day so it’s nice to stretch that a little. This helped to keep food costs down, and we could get more out of the dining plan.

Reflections of Earth

I hope this has given you some insight into what my trips look like, and I hope you can try some of these during your next trip!

What strategy do you take when heading to Walt Disney World? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Kelsey