We wanted to drop in with a few updates as we continue to respond to feedback you offered late last fall (hopefully you’ve noticed!). We also have a new giveaway of an obscure souvenir that we posted about in our Tokyo Disneyland Winter Trip Report. Before we get to that, a few notes…
We’re currently at Walt Disney World (I know, it’s really soon for another trip, but this is for “Christmas” with my parents, so we have an excuse), and as with that Tokyo trip, we’ll be posting updates on social media, and will try to do some live streaming on our Facebook page.
Since the emphasis is on spending time with my family this trip, that will probably mostly be early in the morning or late at night after my parents have gone to bed. (I used to scheme about going to parties “after my parents have gone to bed.” Now, I scheme about doing live Disney videos. How things change!)
Regardless of how much live posting we’re able to do, we will have a trip report for this visit to Walt Disney World, so stay tuned for that. It’ll likely start once the Tokyo report is finished (so, late February). Speaking of which, we want to say thanks for your response to that. We really appreciate all of the comments thus far on that.
In other “news” (not really), we’ve now dined at ~240 Disney restaurants and stayed at ~80 hotels near the Disney parks (including off-site hotels), which I’m guessing is some kind of record. Probably not the kind of record most “normal” people would want to claim, but we are not normal people. As a dorky Disney fan accomplishment, we have to say we’re pretty proud…
Thus far, we’ve posted 196 restaurant reviews (all of which you can find in our Disney Restaurant Reviews Index). We still haven’t finalized our dining schedule for our current trip, but we’ll easily dine at 3 new restaurants. If you have suggestions of places we have not reviewed and that are mid-range price-wise, let us know in the comments.
I’m thinking the 200th review should be something special…like the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s or Planet Hollywood Observatory.
We also wanted to give you an update about the potential group booking for Wilderness Lodge the week after Thanksgiving. Be Our Guest Vacations has been looking into setting this up for us, and they have been in contact with Disney’s ‘Group Getaways’ department. As of right now, Wilderness Lodge isn’t even available for a group rate that week, and alternative offers at other resorts are paltry (in my opinion).
My guesses–and these are just guesses–is that it’s too early for a strong discount or this is a popular window for hotel bookings (Free Dining likely won’t be offered during those dates this year, which is an indicator of internal projections) so Disney doesn’t feel the need to offer discounts to reach occupancy targets or Wilderness Lodge is wrapping its renovations this year, and that coupled with it being a popular resort during the holidays means its excluded from promos during this timeframe. I’m hoping for option #1, but some combo of #2 and #3 seem more likely.
Where does this leave the potential group booking? I’m not sure. With general public Free Dining dates likely to become official within the next couple of months, part of me wants to wait for that, and then reassess whether this option is possible and, if so, who is still interested. If you need/want to book something in the near future, I wouldn’t wait around on this. I hope we can still make something happen, but my level of optimism has dropped.
Now, time for a shameless plug for our other blog, TravelCaffeine.com. This covers our non-Disney adventures, offering more or less what you see on this site, except for places that are not Disney. Actually, our Disney geek-dom influences a lot of our travel decisions, so we end up at sharing photos from a gorgeous sunset at the castle in Germany that inspired Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, the real-life Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland, the experience of visiting my favorite scene in Impressions de France at Epcot, etc. Some of those posts are going to be interesting to Disney fans, even though they are not explicitly about the parks.
And if, for some odd reason, you actually enjoy my writing style, I suspect you’ll like what you’ll find over there. I recently wrote a sarcastic post about honoring America…by eating a really big burger in Canada. I shared our bizarre experience eating inside the belly of a cute monster in Japan. I posted (what I think are) pretty photos from a party on the lawn of a castle. I’ve written several reports about arguably “dangerous” hikes I’ve gone on.
Those are just some posts illustrating what you’ll find on TravelCaffeine. The point is that even if you are not interested in the U.S. National Parks, Asia, Europe–or any other travel destinations outside of Walt Disney World–you still might enjoy reading the anecdotes we post over there. Some of you read this blog just for the straightforward Disney planning advice and nothing else, and we can totally respect that. In that case, TravelCaffeine might not be for you. 🙂
While TravelCaffeine has existed for a few years now, I had not posted regularly in a while. This year, placing a renewed emphasis (something I’ve said before!) on it was a New Year’s resolution of mine. Through the end of January, I think I’ve done pretty well, adding 3-4 new posts per week with many more to come. Writing these posts helps motivate me to get photos edited; hopefully it will also help motivate us to take more road trips throughout California this summer.
I’m sharing all of this here, now, because I’m hoping that if this interests you, you’ll check out TravelCaffeine and maybe follow it on social media, subscribe to email updates, or even just comment on posts you find fascinating. As with anyone who shares broadcasts their lives on the internet, we crave attention and affirmation, and your reading and commenting on the posts really helps with that. In other words, you’d be doing me a favor by reading TravelCaffeine, and that’s basically community service. 😉
As a “carrot” for that, we have a giveaway. And, what better way to merge our real-world and Disney interests than with a prize that combines our two greatest passions: cheeseburgers and Disney!!!
This prize is the Mickey Mouse burger purse Sarah is wearing in the top photo (not the exact same one–Sarah would never part with hers!). It’s the perfect combo of bizarreness and coolness, making it one of my favorite pieces of merchandise in a while. And, you can win one here…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please be sure to properly complete each giveaway entry method and then verify it in the giveaway form above. When we do these giveaways, people invariably get confused by the email newsletter sign-up. You have to visit the link to sign-up for the (free) email newsletter, and then return here to verify that you did it.
That wraps up this bit of housekeeping. We hope you’ll drop by social media to catch some of our current visit to Walt Disney World, and our updates on TravelCaffeine. If you are planning a Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation, check out our planning resources! The best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide or Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience. If you have any other questions or additional feedback, we are all ears!