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Harmony Barber Shop: First Haircut at Disney



While strolling down Main Street at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, you will see Main Street Chamber of Commerce, a “Fire Station”, and then the Harmony Barber Shop nestled between  City Hall and the Emporium.

barber shop

Harmony Barber Shop


The Fire Station may not be real (it is actually headquarters to the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom) but did the barber shop is! Did you know you could get your hair cut at Disney World?

Haircuts may not be on your must-do list of vacation activities but if you or your child want a special hair cut or you have a baby or toddler looking to that milestone first haircut then this is for you.

The Barbershop Menu

All Harmony Barber Shop stylists are state-licensed cosmetologists.

Guests can select from the following options:

  • My First Haircut package $25
  • Child’s haircut (9 and under) $18
  • Adult haircut $19


First Haircut Experience

We chose to take our 2 year old son, Hunter for his first hair cut on our family reunion vacation in November so some of our family could witness the special event as well. The barbershop is very small but they were very accommodating and made plenty of room for his paparazzi to snap photos galore!


Hunter in his hair cut cape.

We had Heather as our barber and she was wonderful as well as the rest of the staff, they are so friendly and excellent at cutting and styling little ones’ hair as well as keeping them happy and distracted. As soon as Hunter sat down, he was given a R2D2 spinner to play with and never once tried to leave the seat which was very impressive. He is a squirmer and never sits still anywhere for long.


A happily occupied kiddo!

Once Heather had his hair combed out and dampened, the real work began. She prepared us for the “first cut” so the whole family could capture the moment.


First Official cut

In addition to a haircut, the first haircut package comes with a printed certificate of bravery and a pair of commemorative Mickey ears that have “My First Haircut” embroidered on the back.


Hunter’s 1st hair cut certificate

As another keepsake they also provide is some clippings of his hair in a mesh bag with stickers and let him sprinkle pixie dust in the bag for us to take home for his baby book.


Adding the pixie dust to his hair clippings

Hunter also got a ton of Mickey stickers and requested that he was pixie dusted before we left. A kid’s first haircut is a big deal after all.


Pixie dusted and hair cut 🙂

He was very thrilled with his hair cut and so were we. It was a great experience for the whole family and the photos and keepsakes will be cherished forever.



Final reveal of hair cut and new ears

The appointment itself is relatively quick – probably less than 30 minutes in total. So you will not lose a lot of your vacation time but still gain a great experience.
If you are traveling to Disney and have a kiddo who is ready to celebrate this milestone, I highly recommend adding it into your plans.

Also unlike the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or the Pirate’s league, there is no age restriction so don’t need to worry about your child being too young. As long as they have some hair to cut, go for it. The cast members and barbers are wonderful with even the littlest of children.


One happy kid!

Things to know:
Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 days by calling 407-939-7529 in advance but walk-ins are welcome.

If no reservations are available, don’t let that worry you. It is definitely worth trying to walk-in generally they will give you a return time and you can go and play in the park while you “wait.”

The first haircut package, it will come with Mickey ears, so you won’t have to buy any in the park.

They will dampen hair with water if needed, but they do not shampoo prior to haircut, so show up with clean hair and have a brush on hand.

You can go in ahead of time and request a memory maker photographer to come and capture the event, however, they are not always available so be sure to bring the camera and to take before and after pictures.


Let me make your vacation even easier! I’ll help you plan from the start as well as advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations. Booking through me is same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE!


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Return to Sleepy Hollow Experience

“Don’t lose your head!” Photo with the infamous Headless Horseman”Don’t lose your head!” Photo with the infamous Headless Horseman



Return to Sleepy Hollow Sign


Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Wilderness Campground to the second annual “Return to Sleepy Hollow” experience. It was an intimate group viewing of the 1949 film “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at the Tri-Circle-D stables, with a special up-close photo opportunity with none other than the Headless Horseman himself.

The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is located between Pioneer Hall and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. As with most Disney resorts; the majority of Fort Wilderness is handicapped accessible, however the trek to the stables was mostly mulch and it is very dark at the campground. This made for a bit of a bumpy ride for the electric scooter and stroller that we had with us.

The stables have a creepy atmosphere and there is a Sleepy Hollow cemetery scene right outside. As you enter, you take a “Return to Sleepy Hollow” picture with lanterns and pumpkins. My son loved this area. Once inside, we stopped to collect our limited edition commemorative pins. And then we were ushered to our seats, given full-size bags of popcorn with drinks and then the movie begins!

return opp

Return to Sleepy Hollow photo op

I always enjoy watching “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at Halloween and this year even my two year old was begging to watch the “Headless Horseman” so getting to enjoy this event with my family in an atmospheric setting on the big screen was a highlight of our Disney vacation.


Stables with movie screen

After the screening, the movie screen lifts and fog bellows out to reveal the infamous horseman in all his glory. You are then ushered up by row to meet the horseman and get another incredible photo op.


The Headless Horseman Appears!

There were three ticket offerings: General, Premium, and Ultimate. The General admission cost is $22 and includes the film viewing, water, candy, popcorn, limited edition commemorative pin featuring the headless horseman, and a photo opportunity. A perfect excuse to use your memory maker! Premium tickets are $38, and include a few extras, including an insulated return to sleepy hollow lunch bag, candy, lanyard, and a logo cup.

The Ultimate ticket runs $60, and includes everything above as well as admittance to the newly added “Van Tassel Dessert Party” after the showing (prices may vary in upcoming years).

Premium Admission merchandise bag

This is a great event for Disney fans of all ages, my two year old loves “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and to me the movie really holds up, year after year. It was a great experience for the whole family and with seats being limited it is a nice change from crowds of the normal Halloween events. If you want to try something new for Halloween next year while at Walt Disney World, I highly recommend this event.


“Don’t lose your head!” Photo with the infamous Headless Horseman

Let me make your vacation even easier! I’ll help you plan from the start as well as advise you. I can handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  Booking with me is the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you, contact me today! Kfloyd@thetikitravelplanner.com

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Review: The Coca-Cola Rooftop Beverage Bar in Disney Springs- International Flight Tray

The Coca-Cola store at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s shopping district opened in July of 2016. It is modeled after a 1920’s Coca-Cola bottling plant and features exclusive branded merchandise, meet and greets with the Coca-Cola Polar bear, and unique tasting opportunities for the young and the young at heart.

coke store

Coca-Cola Store Disney Springs


Chandelier made from re-purposed Coca-Cola Bottles

Inside the store is a beautiful show stopper, the 30 foot chandelier. It fills the entry and is entirely comprised of green globes that were recycled from old Coke bottles. It truly gives you the fizzy feel of the bubbles inside your Coca-Cola.
The store itself is comprised of three floors. The first two floors are jam packed with Coca-Cola merchandise for the avid fans who want to show off their love for anything Coke. The third floor offers beautiful panoramic views of Disney Springs from the roof top patio and includes a bar serving up Coke inspired cocktails, mock-tails, floats, as well as flights of international Coca-Cola products.


Floor on the way to Coca-Cola Polar Bear

The roof top area has a very contemporary, minimalist feel, offset by pops of that Coca-Cola red we all know and love.


Roof top Bar
View from the roof top
Look who we found upstairs!

And now, let’s belly up to the bar and check out the menu…



The bar menu offers a huge assortment of bottled and fountain beverages as well as the Freestyle machine; where guests get chip-enabled Freestyle Cups (similar to the refillable resort mugs) allowing up to 5 refills within an hour of purchase to try out selections of the 100+ flavor options.

Today we are trying the International Tray which is comprised of sixteen different drinks from around the world. Be sure you have free hands because you will receive two full trays, eight cups on each, along with an envelope providing you with the origins of each sample.


International Tray
tray 1
International Tray One

It features the Stoney Tangawizi from Tanzania which is a ginger beer with a strong ginger bite.

Stoney Tangawizi

The Fanta Exotic Fruit Punch from Uganda, a fruit punch with a very “punchy” flavor.

fanta fruit

Fanta Exotic Fruit Punch

The Bon Bon Anglais from Madagascar which is very akin to carbonated lemonade.

bon bon
Bon Bon Anglais

The Sunfill Mint from Djibouti has a prevalent mint flavor but to me was far too close to mouth wash in taste and appearance.


Sunfill Mint

The Minute Maid Joy Apple from Korea has a very soft apple flavor.

apple joy

Minute Maid Joy Apple

The Fanta Apple Kiwi from Thailand is very sweet and the kiwi is strong with this one, young Padawan. It is also the most beautiful shade of green, just like my engagement ring!

kiwi ring

Fanta Apple Kiwi bares a striking resemblance to Peridot

The Smart Watermelon from China has a light watermelon flavor; this one is very nice and refreshing and has been showcased at Club Cool in Epcot. One of my personal favorites.


Smart Watermelon

Last one on tray one is Thums Up from India. It is very similar to that of the original Coca-Cola yet also contains an interesting spice flavor.


Thums Up

Onto the next tray…

tray 2

International Tray Two

First up, the Beverly from Italy. If you’ve visited Epcot’s Club Cool or read anything about it, then you’ve likely heard all about (and probably tried) this bitter beverage. This infamous beverage has a very love/hate relationship with the individuals who have tried it. Me personally, I do not like it but I am a glutton for punishment, so I tried it again! And yes, YUCK again!



For us just like at Club Cool, watching the faces we make after trying it is the best pay out. Bleck!


Post Beverly

Now that that is over, the Aquarius Libre from Spain has a citrusy grapefruit flavor which I enjoyed.


Aquarius Libre

The Fuse Tea with Berries from Georgia is a standard tea with a hint of berries, but it’s mostly tea flavor.


Fuse Tea with Berries

The Bonaqua Fruits Apple Pear from Germany has a very tart sour apple flavor but there was just not enough pear to balance it out.


Bonaqua Fruits Apple Pear

The Lift Manzana (which means apple) from Chile is just like drinking a very sweet apple cider. Pretty tasty.


Lift Manzana

The Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica has a nice sweet, bright red, cherry soda taste to it.


Fanta Kolita

My absolute favorite on this tray, which is also featured at Club Cool, is the Inca Kola from Peru, with its smooth, sweet citrus flavor.


Inca Kola

And finally, the Delaware Punch from Honduras. This is another fruit punch concoction containing a tarter undertone than the other fruit punch on the menu.


Delaware Punch

Despite the Beverly being on tray #2, I can say we enjoyed that tray better. Hardly any of those cups were left full.


Tray 2 almost empty

For Disney guests like us, who do not partake of alcohol but truly love trying unique beverages and are looking for more variety, I highly recommend the International Tray. It was a great way to spend a Halloween afternoon enjoying the views and shops at Disney Springs.



Let me make your vacation even easier! I’ll help you plan from the start as well as advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations. Booking through me is same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE!

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Review of the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Re Imagined!

Review of the Disney Wonder Reimagined

I was lucky enough to get to book a Disney very Merrytime Christmas cruise out of my home state, Texas, last fall. When I learned the Wonder’s major makeover was in the works, I promptly booked my new family of three for their first Christmas cruise on the inaugural sailing following the Wonder’s return to the states. It was a quick four-night outing to Cozumel from Galveston.


Meeting Captain Mickey while waiting to board the Disney Wonder

Upon boarding the Disney Wonder, The Atrium Lobby is the first thing you see. It has received the same modifications that were made to the Disney Magic several years ago. The additional staircase was replaced and decor was refreshed to highlight the ship’s Little Mermaid theme.


Little Mermaid murals throughout the lobby

Ariel’s statue was always in the lobby but additional decorations no encompass the ship.


Ariel statue in lobby

When you look up in the lobby to take in the beautiful ship you are greeted by a magnificent new chandelier, it’s made of Ariel’s hair colored, translucent elements which are very reminiscent of poinsettias. This also seemed very perfect during a Mickey’s Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise.


The new Wonder chandelier

Our first afternoon aboard the newly reimagined Wonder was filled with well, Wonder. We traveled here and there and everywhere finding out what was new and revamped abroad the ship, we took advantage of the open house at the kids clubs to see the new play areas and character experiences in the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab featuring, friends from Toy Story , Marvel Superheroes, and for the first time on the cruise line, Club Disney Junior and Frozen. Also the new hands-on activity zones in Oceaneer Lab are dedicated to animation, navigation, and crafts.


Toy Story play area


Marvel Superhero Academy


Frozen play area


It’s a Small World Nursery


Dory’s Reef Toddler water area

Continuing on with the Finding Nemo/Finding Dory theme, the biggest noticeable dining enhancements are on deck 9.



Daisy’s De Lites and Pete’s Boiler Bites

We also saw that once he is out of diapers, kids through age 12 can frolic in AquaLab, a dynamic splash play zone that replaced the Mickey Pool. Also family-friendly is the new Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide on deck 9, which replaces the less elaborate (and kids-only) Mickey Slide. However, the Wonder did not get a second, more extreme water slide, so she remains the only ship with a single slide.


Aqualab and Twist and Spout Waterslide

Upon exploring the pool areas we found Edge, the club for tweens ages 11-14. It has moved up from deck 2 to the former arcade on the pool deck. Also in the vicinity, kids 12 and under can now get dressed-up (for an extra fee) in Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, as a Knight or Princess on most nights and special for Pirate’s Night your little one can be transformed in a Pirate. Chill Spa, the teens-only area in the senses spa has also been added to the Disney Wonder making it finally available on all four Disney vessels.

Our entire family was blown away by the brand new Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, which replaced Toy Story-The Musical in the entertainment. Which was truly breathe taking and better than some plays I have seen on Broadway in my opinion. There’s also a revamped and renamed family club, D Lounge, which replaced Studio Sea, making yet another area universal to the Disney fleet. Shopping areas have also been renamed and remodeled to unite the Cruise line.


Shop Renaming

The adult areas have also been substantially redecorated adult entertainment district and rejuvenated spa. The retro-themed Route 66 district gave way to suave and sleek After Hours.


Adult Lounges

The main nightclub is now Azure, a name that alludes to the deep, blue sea. Diversions sports pub has taken a more British bent, emerging as Crown & Fin Pub. Only Cadillac Lounge retains its identity and decor, though the piano has been moved to a platform at the far end of the room.

The adults-only Vista Spa is now Senses Spa; bringing that brand name to all four Disney ships as well as the land-based spas at other Disney Parks and Resorts. The exception to adults-only status is the teens’ Chill Spa area for the teens as mentioned above.

One of the areas I was most excited to see was the new Tiana’s Place which replaced Parrot Cay. Its theming is amazing! They even have lightning bugs on the stage.


New Tiana’s Place Complete with Lightning bugs!

The atmosphere was very electric with Tiana’s jazz band playing Disney tunes, even the cast members participate in the dinner show. The food was great and the dessert menu lights up!


The New Tiana’s Place- Live Jazz and great food!

Animator’s Palate has also been updated visually with new additions to the mural like Elsa and Moana as well as technology to support the same multimedia dinner shows seen on the Wonder’s sister ships.


Animator’s Palate

As you can see there are several “WONDER”ful upgrades that have been made to the Disney Wonder, I really recommend checking her out. Also a great thing to remember is the Disney cruise line also sails out of Texas in the fall which is a great option to explore. Adventure is out there, contact your Travel Time planner today to start planning your Disney Cruise today!


Disney Wonder Docked in Cozumel


Let me make your vacation even easier! I’ll help you plan from the start as well as advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations. Booking through me is the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE! Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you, contact me today!

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Dining at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

Dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby

1st picture for HBD blog

The entrance to the Hollywood Brown Derby

If you want a taste of old Hollywood while at Disney world be sure to reserve a table at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios on your trip. We have had the pleasure of dining with them twice and it has now become a staple of our Disney vacations.
The Hollywood Brown Derby is a replica of well, the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood California. This restaurant is a perfect place to dine when at Hollywood Studios since this park combines the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood with the sleek and flair of current Hollywood.

3rd picture for blog

Caricatures of Old Hollywood’s Famous Celebrities

The interior is filled with browns, golds, shades of white and the restaurant has wall after wall of these caricatures of the Hollywood greats of yesteryear.

Once seated we were greeted with this beautiful display of gold glittery stars and complimentary champagne, it was our 1st trip to Disney together and our one year wedding anniversary which I had added to our reservations in hopes of a little “pixie dust” and once again Disney did not disappoint!


The extra “Pixie Dust” for our Anniversary Celebration

6th pic

Do you see the Mickey?

This trip we tried the Andouille crusted shrimp and grits as a started and the filet with red wine reduction compound butter for our main course. They were the best dishes I have had on Disney property. The shrimp was perfectly cooked and the grits were creamy and rich. The steak just melted in your mouth and the presentations were beautiful.

7th pic

Andouille Crusted Shrimp and Grits

8th pic

Chargrilled Filet with Red Wine Reduction Compound Butter

The menus at Disney are always changing and evolving at Disney and they are always adding new amazing things to try. That being said I must say if these were a constant on the menu I may never pick anything else these were so good!

9th pic

Having the Happiest 1st Anniversary at the Happiest Place on Earth!

The Hollywood Brown Derby is classified as a Signature Dining restaurant which means it is a one of a kind, high end dining experience. The cost ranges from $$($15 to $34.99 per adult) for lunch-$$$($35 to $59.99 per adult) for dinner. If you are on the Disney Dining plan or the Deluxe Dining plan this restaurant is worth 2 credits. Reservations are recommended to be made at least 180 days in advance.
Tips or Tricks?
I highly recommend you have your travel planner mention any special even you are celebrating when they reserve your table. You never know what kind of magic awaits you!


Hubby being surprised with special Birthday dessert on our last trip!


Anything else?

The Hollywood Brown Derby is famous for their Cobb Salad and if you ask they will provide you with the recipe on these super cute little brown derby hats. They make a great FREE souvenir as well as the perfect prop for your photo ops!


Cobb Salad Recipe Card

Excited to try Disney’s The Hollywood Brown Derby?! Contact one of the Travel Time Travel Planners today to start booking your dream vacation.


Let me make your vacation even easier! I’ll help you plan from the start as well as advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations. Booking through me is the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE! Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you, contact me today!

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Disney Store Easter Egg Hunt



As Easter hops around the corner, we start to see the Easter eggs pop up everywhere and this year the Disney store offers its very own Easter egg hunt!

For several years the Disney parks have celebrated their own Eggstravagana, including the beautiful one of a kind masterpieces at the Grand Floridian Resort and a park long hunt at Disney World’s Epcot park.




Beautiful Tangled Chocolate egg found in the lobby of the Grand Floridian hotel

Epcot’s world showcase is where the Easter egg hunt takes place and now you can enjoy the hunt even if you can’t make it to the parks!


Epcot Egg Hunt Map


Figment egg in Epcot’s World Showcase

At the Disney Store starting today you can purchase the Magical Egg Hunt Adventure map for $5! Then you stroll around the store looking for the eggs numbered on your map. The map is a very high quality sturdy map which you get to keep after your hunt as a keepsake (they will stamp it redeemed once you collect your prize.)


Magical Egg Hunt Adventure map

The Eggs are numbered so you can easily position your stickers on their specific location and they are generally around merchandise coordinating with the egg.


Mrs. Incredible egg near the Incredible family

Once you find all the eggs you will visit your Disney Cast members to redeem your prize for a Mickey or Minnie Easter egg of your very own.


Mickey Easter Egg. Someone is happy!

For $5 it is a great way to spend some time at your local Disney Store and get a really cute memento too! Plus if you are like me and always looking for more Disney experiences to enjoy even when you can’t get to the parks, this is for you.

Stop by your local Disney store today, the Egg hunt will continue until April 22nd or while supplies last!

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Pandora, the World of Avatar: Dining Review

Floating Mountains

Beautiful View from Pandora

Floating Mountains of Pandora






Pandora, the world of Avatar, is located within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It features breathtaking floating mountains, two technologically advanced new rides, and a unique menu unlike any other within the Disney theme parks.

The new world of Avatar area brings with it two innovative and very distinctive dining options; Pongu Pongu, a drink stand, and Satu’li Canteen, a dining hall with an extensive menu.

Pongu Pongo

The Night Blossom is the most popular drink in Pandora and can only be found at Pongu Pongo. It’s also good to know that this frozen specialty is the only nonalcoholic beverage available at the stand. The Night Blossom blends the very punchy flavors of limeade, apple, and desert pear and is then topped with passion fruit Boba Balls, a common thread throughout Pandora.

Night Blossom


Snack Credit Night Blossom


I loved this drink; I put it up there on my list with the Gaston’s Tavern’s La Fou’s brew located within the Magic Kingdom. The Night Blossom is very vibrant, tangy and a bit sweet. The colors of this frosty beverage are extremely eye-catching with bright hues of fuchsia and lime, topped with an orange garnish of Boba Balls.

Night Blossom souv


Night Blossom in collector cup with glowing seed ice cube


The Night Blossom can be purchased currently for $4.99 or the use of a single Snack credit on the Disney Dining plans; if you forgo the famous Disney souvenir mug and glowing cube (or seed as is referred to in Pandora.) The cup with the glowing cube seed is only $19.99. You not only receive a tasty drink but also a unique souvenir from your Avatar adventure.
Satu’li Canteen

Satu'li Canteen


Satu’li Canteen


Satu’li Canteen offers a spectacular environment complete with hand woven décor and art work that reinforces the natural feel of being on this Pandorian adventure.

The menu offers a wide variety of items which includes some of Disney’s healthier options as these two Pandora only favorites; a Vegetable Curry and a Cheeseburger pod.


Vegetable Curry Pods

cheeseburger pods

Cheeseburger Pods








The Cheeseburger Steamed Pod is what I sampled this trip; it is filled with ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle, and cheddar cheese. I was most excited to try this menu item, and I am looking forward to going back in October to enjoy it again. The ground beef is tasty, and the blend of condiments really made this a “cheeseburger “in my book.


Yum, Cheeseburger!



Both pods also come with Root Vegetable Chips and Crunchy Vegetable Slaw. The Root Vegetable Chips were nice, lightly salted and cooked to a crisp texture. I also appreciated tang of the slaw with its Pandorian Boba Ball yogurt salad topping.

chips and slaw


Vegetable Chips and Slaw


In my opinion, the true highlight of Pandora’s dining is the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse This unique and Instagram worthy dessert includes whipped blueberry cream cheese mousse, passion fruit curd, whipped cream, and a sliver of white chocolate. When combined, all of the fruity flavors are simply magical. It truly tastes as good as it looks. The blueberry mousse is creamy and sweet while you get that punch of acidity from the passion fruit to create a harmonious bite of epic proportions. I could go on all day about this dessert!



Blueberry Cheesecake Mousse




It’s even pretty on the inside












The World of Avatar surpassed my expectations in sights, sounds, and tastes. I highly recommend Flight of Passage; the floating mountains are beautiful and enjoyable to view from every imaginable angle, and the food is out of this world! Yes, pun intended.


Newest member of Pandora

If you are looking for something fun to try, eat, or Instagram while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, look no further than Pandora! There is something for everyone!


Let me make your vacation even easier! I’ll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations. Booking through me is the same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE! Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact me today!

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First Time Cruisers: What to Expect on Your First Day on a Disney Cruise

First Time Cruisers: Day one

The Terminal: What to Expect When You Check In for Your Cruise


Upon arrival at the terminal, you will be greeted by porters who will take your large bags from you, be sure you have your tags which were provided with your booklet prior to sailing (I usually tip a few dollars per bag.)


Just like airports, cruise ports have an initial security stop where you’ll be asked to show your ID and cruise documents. This is how the cruise lines makes sure only ticketed passengers enter the terminal. As you enter, you’ll undergo a typical security screening with metal detectors and luggage scans.




Port Canaveral Disney Terminal

You will then go to the Disney cruise line area and go through “check in” where you will be required to present valid passports or other acceptable proof of citizenship like your passport. You will also present a copy of your Online Port Arrival Form. You can complete your forms online at the official Disney Cruise Line website. If you have a minor traveling with you with their legal guardian you will also be required to provide an “Authorization for Minor To Travel  Without a Parent or Legal Guardian” form, completed and signed by that child’s parent or legal guardian.

While having your documents verified, you will also get your picture taken for your card (so you can be verified when getting off and on the ship at ports) and be required to fill out a brief health questionnaire which asks if anyone in your party has experienced diarrhea, fever or vomiting in the past three days. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, DCL might have you see the ship doctor and ultimately could keep you from boarding the ship. Take care that everyone in your party is in good health.

You will then be presented your “Key To The World” (KTTW) Disney cards which will function as your id, state room key, and your credit card aboard the ship (much like a magic band functions at Walt Disney world.) This key will also tell you the when and where of your dining rotation. This is where I start to get really excited. Upon boarding, Disney cruise staff will be there to greet you and they will likely have a special VIP character with them (like Minnie or Mickey) to say hello.


First picture with the Captain before boarding

Understanding your Key to the World (KTTW) Card

Your card will include your legal name and the dates of your cruise. It will either have an “A” for adult or an “M” for minor. The times on your card will indicate your dining rotation time (when you’re supposed to go to the restaurant for dinner) and table number. The letters below that indicate your actual dining rotation. For example, the card below says you’d dine at 8:15 pm the first night at Triton’s, the second AND third night at Animator’s Palate, and the fourth night at Tiana’s Place.


Key to the World card

The final number on the bottom corresponds to which check in counter you used at your arrival port. The large letter on the bottom left tells you which “lifeboat/muster drill station” you should report to during the drill, which everyone on the ship MUST attend, on sail away day. Each station will be clearly marked with a letter, just find the letter that corresponds with the one on your card and you’ll be in the right place! We will talk more about how to locate the right deck and letter later on.

As a first time cruiser with Disney, your card will not have a Castaway number. But after sailing your first cruise, you will automatically be enrolled into the Castaway Club. You start off as a Silver member and can sail your way into higher tiers such as the Gold membership or even the coveted Platinum level!

The Ship: What Happens When You First Board

Once your boarding number is called, you are free to board. Your KTTW card will be scanned when you first enter the ship (and every other time you get on or off).

Photographers will be stationed along the way to take your picture. It is free to have your picture taken. You are also welcome to take pictures with your own camera at these spots. These photographs are completely optional; just pass them by if you’re not interested.


Boarding the Ship

Exclusive to the Disney Cruises line is the grand Entrance to your Disney Ship. A Cast Member will ask for your family name and then, with microphone in hand and a slew of other cast members there to applaud, will grandly announce the entrance of your family onboard, as if you were royalty. “And now…please welcome the ________family!”


Are there any reservations you need to snag or change before setting sail? It’s best to do this first thing (before eating or swimming) to increase likelihood of your desired options being available. Also if you need anything for baby, you will want to request a bottle warmer or Diaper Genie at the front desk as soon as you board! Lastly, if you didn’t sign your kids up for one of the included clubs online during your  check-in process; use your time waiting to board to do so in the terminal at the designated kids’ club desk.

The First Afternoon Aboard The Ship


If you or your kids are huge swimmers I recommend you wear your swimsuits under your clothes. This little tip lets head straight to the pool deck and enjoy the water slides or pool with minimal lines.


Adult only pool on the Disney Dream


Beautiful mural inside Cabana’s Buffet

The buffets at Cabanas (at the top of the boat, near the pools) will be open for lunch right away. Also, each ship has another restaurant open for a lunch buffet (Enchanted Garden on the Fantasy/Dream, Carioca’s on the Magic, and Tiana’s Place on the Wonder).



Inside Stateroom with animated porthole on the Disney Dream

Your stateroom is usually available around 1:30pm. You can leave any of your personal belongings there. The room stewards will bring your checked bags to your room that evening, usually by 5pm, but often much earlier. While in your stateroom you will want to access the map on the back of your door and match your letter on your KTTW to find out where your meeting area is for the lifeboat drill. They will also have the television in your room playing the safety drill information.



Assembly Station information

Around 4pm, each guest is required to attend a mandatory lifeboat drill. This exercise is required by law and everyone must attend. Bring your KTTW card with you; this is how DCL keeps track of who attended the drill. On Disney Cruise line you don’t need to wear your life jacket to this drill, so leave it in your stateroom. But do make sure you know where it is… just in case!


Lifeboat/Muster Drill Demonstration


Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and their friends kick things off with a special dance party. It’s a fun little show with some dancing & music it is a great way to start your trip but it is completely optional. There are all sorts of things to do and explore now that you are setting sail.


Sail Away Party

That was just the first day; you still have dinner, shows, and other adventures ahead.

Enjoy the ride and let the fun begin!


Let me make your vacation even easier!  I’ll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations. Booking through me is the same or even less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you contact me today!

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Disney Cruise Line’s Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise


If any of you know me, even a little bit, you know that I love to travel and most importantly I love to travel to Disney. Yes, I am Disney obsessed and my sailing adventures are no different. When my son was born I knew I wanted to do something special for his first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family. So naturally, I looked for experiences we could share as a family along with my main mouse. I was thrilled to find that the newly “re-imagined” Disney Wonder was sailing out of our home port of Galveston, TX on a Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise. Christmas with Mickey, sign me up!

I booked us on the first voyage of the newly refurbished ship and was so excited to experience the holiday feel of the ship and all the amazing adventures we would have as a family while on board.


1st Christmas pic1st Christmas picture


The entire ship was decked out in Christmas decor; poinsettias by the stairs, garland strung end to end, wreaths and trees galore. Each restaurant even has its own Christmas decor. Triton’s had fish in its wreaths and Animators Palate had swags hanging from their paint brushes with artsy touches to complete the festive feel.


Christmas Decor

Even the chandelier in the main entrance matched the Christmas theme by resembling giant poinsettias that clung to the ornate ceiling.

We were warmly welcomed onto the ship by several cast members who were standing next to an enormous Christmas tree and the beginnings of a life size gingerbread house (it was completed by the time we disembarked). It was so much fun to see the area transform as our voyage continued.


Beautiful Flower Chandelier, Unlit tree, and start of Our stateroom was decorated with an extra Christmas surprise.

I previously called ahead to the Disney Cruise line to order special Christmas Decorations to surprise my family with a pre-decorated room. It was a great surprise and really added to the holiday spirit. to the Disney Cruise line to order special Christmas Decorations to surprise my family with a pre-decorated room. It was a great surprise and really added to the holiday spirit.


 Festive Room Decor ordered from Disney Cruise line

We decided to join in on Formal Night and get our pictures taken in front of the Christmas tree in the main lobby. I got us all dressed up for the experience and soon found out there was a fun filled tree lighting ceremony on the 1st night. I also discovered that one family for the entire cruise is selected to help light that tree.

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Ready to light the Tree

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First Picture with the newly lit Christmas tree

During the tree lighting ceremony they gave us pixie dust to sprinkle on the tree and Mickey and his friends came down to help countdown the tree lighting. After the countdown we sprinkled the tree and it magically lit up, displaying all its beauty and Christmas cheer!

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Lobby after tree was lit

After the ceremony, we were whisked away to a private meet and greet with Mickey and the gang and were given a picture of our experience as a keepsake. It was a truly breathtaking way to start our cruise. From that moment on, we were like celebrities aboard the ship. EVERYONE knew our name.

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Meet and Greet with Mickey and Pals

Like on every Disney cruise each night you are treated to a towel animal, chocolates and your own personal Navigator which outlines all the ship’s activities for the following day. It’s amazing to see how many activities there are to do on the ship! The activities on the Christmas cruise include even more holiday activities such as meeting Santa along with hot cocoa and cookies! There are so many touches that Disney adds to make this cruise feel so Christmas-y.

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1st picture with Santa

Our little guy was so good meeting Santa for the 1st time and we were thrilled to be able to encounter this special meet and greet on our cruise. We also signed up for gingerbread house making at Tiana’s Place, the newest restaurant aboard the Disney Wonder. We had to sign up at guest services to make the gingerbread houses since this activity is not available online.

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Meeting at Tiana’s Place to make a gingerbread house

We met up with our fellow cruisers and were greeted with our own little house tiles and supplies to construct our gingerbread house.

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Gingerbread house supplies


Someone wants to help with construction

Cast members, along with a chef from the Disney kitchen, come out to assist with the building of your house. They provide you with instructions and talk with the guests while you build your house but you can design and decorate as you see fit. One piece of advice; if your 10 month old wants to help, don’t be surprised when this happens.

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Collapsed house, courtesy of my little guy


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At least it tastes good!

Other activities we participated in for the holidays included meet and greets with princesses in their winter fineries and many visits with Mickey! My little guy LOVES the main cheese so getting to see him multiple times on a Disney cruise is a total win. Plus all of these amazing pictures really helped with my Christmas cards. There were so many things to do on board that we couldn’t do everything, just another reason why I love to cruise.

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Christmas picture with Belle

Cruising for Christmas was an amazing experience; we were able to enjoy big festivities like tree lightings and gingerbread houses, along with fancy meals where we could dress up, and quieter moments meeting Santa and Mickey Mouse with none of the Christmas hustle and stress, all in one vacation. Normally it takes me the whole month of December to only accomplish half of that! I could go on and on but there are so many options on board to bring you Christmas cheer!

So if you are looking for a new way to experience Christmas and enjoy all the things you love without the heavy planning, a cruise is for you! Experience all of the magic of Christmas and Disney all in one vacation. The Very Merrytime Christmas Cruise is all about celebrating Christmas in the middle of the ocean together, as a family, with everyone else doing all of the hard work for you!

If you would like to gift your family with a Disney Holiday cruise our Travel Time agents are here to help. Let us plan your dream Christmas today!


By Kris



Let me make your vacation even easier!  I’ll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  Booking through me is same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get my services for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you and contact me today!


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Why Disney Cruise Line is Great for Babies



Our First Picture Boarding the Disney Wonder

My family loves to travel and after having my son I knew I still wanted to explore and create great adventures. Plus, now I had someone new to share them with! We never thought a baby was too young to travel and enjoy a vacation  and we love Disney and cruising.  So naturally cruising with a baby made sense to us. Ever thought your child was too young for a Disney cruise? Here are some of the many reasons why a Disney cruise is perfect for your little one.

Disney allows infants 6 months of age to sail on most short voyages and allows children 1 year and older on their longer voyages such as their Transatlantic cruises. We celebrated our son’s 10 month “birthday” on his first cruise and it was perfect! He was able to meet characters, try new foods, experience magic all around, and explore a new country all in his first vacation.


Ready for cake!

Offered free of charge onboard for babies(request these items at front desk upon boarding): Diaper genies, pack and plays, and even diaper warmers. They also have a few strollers that can be rented free (it does require a refundable security deposit) on a first come, first serve basis.


Disney cruise themed Pack n Play

Anyone packing for a child knows it can be difficult and you already feel like you are packing your entire house so not having to worry about the bulky items is a relief. Also if you do not feel like bringing your own diapers and formula the gift shops on board sell them.


Bath Time

Disney also made cruising with a baby easier, they are the only cruise line with bath tubs. My son loves his baths and he was not walking by this trip so that was a perk for us. There also are mini refrigators in the room to store milk and plenty of plugs if you are pumping while on board. I did and there were so many plugs I could easily pick a plug and sit comfortably while I pumped. Also the rooms have a curtain that you can use to divid the main bed from the others in the cabin so if your child is like ours and can’t go to sleep if he can see you really comes in handy. We were able to draw the curtain and keep the lights on on our side and watch TV while our little one had a nice dimly light area to rest.


The perfect place to rest: Night stand with plug for pumping equipment

The Disney cruise line also has a nursery if you want to enjoy an adult only restaurant or spa treatment. “It’s a Small World” Nursery is offered on all of Disney’s ships and they provide childcare for children 6 months to 3 years of age for a small fee per hour. It is highly recommended that you reserve your child’s time before you sail. It is an adorable nursery with a bright and cheery motif of Disney’s popular “It’s a Small World” ride and there are comfortable squishy floors, plenty of toys, chairs, and even a special area with cribs in case your bundle of joy plays themselves out.


                                      Cheerful decorations    Playing at “it’s a small world” nursery    Cribs in nursery

By now you are already seeing the benefits of cruising with your baby but there is so much more:

There are great TV viewing options on board with a lot of movies and fun shows, which helps if you are in the room nursing, pumping, or just hanging out.

Free Room service, in case your little one needs a nap during meal time. Speaking of food, our son was eating some solid food by this time but at our nightly sit down dinners and the kids menus had plenty of options. However if your little one is eating baby food they do offer to puree foods for you. No need to bring your own baby food to dinner

                                    Hunter’s Pirate Cup                   Kid’s Dinner Option               Kid’s Menu for Pirate Night, turns in to a hat

The Characters on board are great with kids and took special time to bond with my son, you can find them sometimes wandering but mostly at scheduled times. This can make it easy to pick which characters your child wants to see and you can work that into your plans for the day with the help of your navigator. And of course don’t forget the pictures! My family will cherish these photos forever.


                                Impromptu meeting with Mickey    Meet and Greet with Ariel      Pirate Night with Tinkerbell

They have a special splash area just for children still in swim diapers which is great if your kiddo is not walking or does not know how to swim yet. They can splash, get wet, and have a great time in their own safe and kid friendly spot.

You can explore a new country without having to work at planning, Disney picks the best excursions for you so you know in advance what you are doing at port and you know what age group and activity level each excursion is suited. We had a fun filled beach day in Cozumel and our little guy loved the fun in the sun.


Fun in the sun in Cozumel

The Disney cruise provides “wave phones” (like cell phones), so you can text and call anyone around the ship, no need to pay for roaming and data fees. The kids’ clubs and nursery will call you when your child is ready to be picked up, or in case anything happens — which is gives me great peace of mind.

All of the entertainment on the ship is free and there is something for everyone. Premier movies, Broadway-style shows, magic acts, etc. We were able to take our son to the movies without worrying about if he got to loud and we had to leave how much money we wasted.  If you have to leave half way through a show for a feeding or diaper change you don’t need to stress about the cost.

Disney is very child friendly and the cast members are always willing to help. They always provided my son with great attention and care everywhere we went. They make you and your child feel like family and to me that is what makes a great vacation. I am so happy we took our baby on vacation and really enjoyed cruising with him.


Officer’s Night

Where else can you sail the seas, explore new lands, and enjoy the magic of Disney all in one vacation? I highly recommend sailing with Disney if you want to experience a grand adventure with your new addition, there is so much for everyone to experience and you’ll have memories to last a lifetime.

By Kris

Let me make your vacation even easier!  I’ll help you plan from the start and can advise you and handle your arrangements, including dining, fast passes, room requests, discount application, and celebrations.  Booking through me is same price or less than if you book on your own, and you get us for FREE!  Have an expert on your side at zero cost to you, contact me today!


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