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Moms Panel Monday: Meet Ari Krell, a Dad with Tips from His Boyhood at Disneyland to New Discoveries with His Daughters

posted on March 12th, 2012 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Like thousands of Disneyland park fans who live in Southern California, Ari Krell had to be at the park Feb. 29 for “One More Disney Day.”

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“How could I miss it? It was part of Disney history,” Ari said of the 24-hour adventure celebrated at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

That sums up the passion Ari has for Disney Parks, a passion that started with his boyhood adventures at Disneyland and grew in ways he never would have imagined as a dad of two “princess” daughters. He brings all that knowledge and enthusiasm now to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, as the first dad to answer vacation planning questions about Disneyland Resort.

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As an annual passholder, Ari has the luxury of visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks multiple times throughout the year. He and his family like to watch the shows, ride the attractions over and over, and sample food from various restaurants. Two of his favorites are the Blue Bayou and River Belle Terrace (he tipped me off to the tasty and filling roast turkey sandwich at the River Belle!).

With that much time at the parks, you begin to find the unexpected delights. And those surprises are the best moments of all, Ari said – from gazing in awe at the Zoetrope in the Art of Animation building to spying a new show detail to discovering how helpful cast members can be.

“Moms

“What I enjoy most about being on the Moms Panel is being able to share personal and family experiences,” Ari said. “When I tell upcoming visitors that my 7-year-old daughter loves Tower of Terror, they can use that information to plan their own visits. It helps them plan a better, more fun vacation, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Do you have questions about Tom Sawyer Island, rainy day fun at the parks, or what’s opening this summer at Disney California Adventure park? Just ask Ari or our other Disneyland Resort panelist Amanda Ficili about all the adventures revving up at the Disneyland Resort. You can find them at DisneyWorldMoms.com!

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Moms Panel Monday: Ahoy There! Meet Nancy Walshe, Our Newest Disney Cruise Line Mom

posted on March 5th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


I had the honor of helping welcome Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, at a celebrity-studded christening ceremony in New York City last week.

“Nancy

Of course, seeing such luminaries as Ty Pennington, Jerry Seinfeld and Mayor Bloomberg was amazing. And in keeping with maritime tradition, the dazzling Mariah Carey is the ship’s official godmother and christened her with bubbly!

What truly made an impression on me was the beauty of the Disney Fantasy against the wintry backdrop of New York’s skyline. I was breathless when I first arrived at the pier. I walked over the gang plank and into the atrium to the gorgeous art nouveau lobby and front and center I saw the ship’s welcoming statue, “Mademoiselle Minnie.”

In keeping with our own maritime tradition, we debuted earlier this year Nancy Walshe, one of the newest members of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel and a Disney Cruise Line Specialist Mom.

Whether you are traveling with kids of all ages, looking for tips while selecting an itinerary or picking which exhilarating Port Adventures to book, Nancy will help you get your vacation ship shape. A mother of two, Nancy sails on our fleet often and she knows the ins and outs to help make your Disney cruise magical.

“The first cruise that we took included three different generations and one of my favorite memories was watching the kids playing in the ocean with their grandparents on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.” But Nancy feels that the ship is truly a destination in itself.

“I love that my kids always ask when they can go again even before we get off the ship!”

Do you have questions about the four grand ladies of our fleet? Just ask Nancy or our returning panelist Marisol Lopez about setting sail Disney-style at DisneyWorldMoms.com!

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Moms Panel Monday: More Time, More Walt Disney World Resort!

posted on February 27th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


How would you spend One More Disney Day?

As we gear up for a marathon of memory making during One More Disney Day on February 29, when Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland park will stay open for 24 hours straight, I thought it would be fun to hear how master vacation planner and Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Erin Foster would make memories if she had a few more hours at Walt Disney World Resort.

“I’m an avid Vinylmation collector – I lost count when I got to about 600 different ones – but I’ve never had the opportunity to meet the artists who design them. I would love to take my daughters and spend two hours meeting one of the artists at The Art of Disney at Downtown Disney while they make them come to life.

I really like how they have to think inside the box and continue to make creative designs with one little mouse figure. That process would be really cool to watch and learn about, and I think it would be something my family would remember each time we look to collect a new one.

These collectibles have become small reminders of our different Disney trips, and it would be nice to let the artists know they’ve rocked my world!”

What would you do with One More Disney Day at Disney Parks? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Moms Panel Monday: Who Runs the World? Princesses, of Course!

posted on February 20th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


As a tiara wearing mom, I tell my daughter that there is more to being a princess than nice clothes, jewelry and a cute guy (although those ain’t bad!). Princesses must be smart, strong, fearless, and sometimes fight for themselves and those they love. Mulan led an army, Jasmine broke tradition and entered a whole new world, and Tiana started a business. So running 13.1 miles is not even a challenge for any true pinkblood!

Lori Lovell Joins the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort

In just a few days, thousands of princesses will travel here to the Walt Disney World Resort to embark on a regal journey during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend February 24-26. Among those running is our very own Walt Disney World Moms Panelist and runDisney specialist, Lori Lovell.

As Lori’s completes her fifth runDisney half marathon this weekend, she shares that getting her whole family involved in physical fitness fun helps her stay motivated.

“When I first signed up to run in a marathon at Disney, I wasn’t a runner,” she says. “But I quickly realized what a great thing this would be for us to do together as a family. My sons, who are eight and 11 years old, take part in the kids’ races and it means so much to see them out there cheering me on too.”

For Lori, being fit is about setting an example for her family and having fun doing so, especially if it includes a trip to Disney Parks along the way. “It promotes activity for my sons, and I hope this will inspire them to be active,” she says.

Lori says that while running in marathons and half marathons may seem overwhelming at first, starting off easy is key. “There is a quote I love from Jeff Galloway, who helps people train for runDisney events, that says the momentum of putting one foot in front of the other is more important than the pace,” she shares. “That is always very inspiring to me.”

I ran my first half marathon after turning 29 years old two or three times. OK. Seven times. It was at the Princess Half two years ago. Running under the finish line, I choked up thinking about my own princess and wondered if achieving this goal would be a good example to her. There were also tears for the Dooney & Bourke purse I promised myself if I finished.

Any running princesses out there? Let Lori and I know your Disney stories below!

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Moms Panel Monday: A Rose is Just the Beginning at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 13th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Mickey and Minnie Mouse Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Disney Parks

My favorite color is pink. Red to me is just pink with an attitude. I love the opportunity to drape myself in crimson each Valentine’s Day. And even after (cough) 20 years together, I can always count on a bouquet of pink roses from my hubby. I have been hinting at some skating-rink-sized jewelry for years, but that’s another story. . .

But, now that I live practically a stone’s throw from the Magic Kingdom Park, I can, along with our guests, be pampered at a spa, take a romantic stroll along Disney’s BoardWalk at sunset, sail on a private Specialty Cruise of the Magic Kingdom fireworks or have an unforgettable meal at one of the east coast’s best restaurants, Victoria & Albert’s, and much more on Valentine’s Day!

Panelists on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel have made many lasting memories on Disney Parks vacations. A lot of them are romantic memories. Panelists have spent their honeymoons, renewed their wedding vows or even “popped the question” at a Disney Park. Even I love the romance of Disney and spent part of my own honeymoon here at Walt Disney World Resort.

If you’re looking for ways to add some romance to your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation, panelist Doug Ingersoll (who proposed to his wife at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn as fireworks from Epcot lit up the sky!) suggests setting up a dinner reservation for two while the little ones enjoy playing at one of the Children’s Activity Centers.

Doug says, “Make it a point to have a ‘mom and dad only’ dinner, and take advantage of having some time separate from the kiddos.” He also recommends surprising your special someone with treats like chocolate covered strawberries from Disney Floral and Gifts, which can be sent right to your room.

Panelist Teronya Holmes celebrated her honeymoon by staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and encourages other honeymooners to plan for special moments together when they stay at Walt Disney World Resort. “Plan to watch the fireworks from the beach of Disney’s Polynesian Resort or take a special fireworks cruise on Bay Lake one night,” she says.

“My favorite thing to do is walk through Epcot’s World Showcase with just me and my husband if we have an evening to ourselves,” Teronya shares. “It’s just so beautiful to take in all of the sights from the different countries together.”

And for truly elaborate love birds, a vowel renewal using Cinderella’s Coach and footman may just be in order, says panelist Kim LaPaglia. “Apart from my honeymoon at the Grand Floridian, renewing my vows at the Happiest Place on Earth was the most romantically magical moment.”

What is your idea of romance with your significant other at Disney Parks?

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A Mom’s Take: Tips for a Disney Cruise to the Mexican Riviera

posted on February 10th, 2012 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Disney Cruise Line Mom, Andi, gave us a glimpse at the rich Mexican culture her family experienced aboard the Disney Wonder and in the charming towns of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas on their seven-night voyage to the Mexican Riviera.

In this final video of the series, Andi takes a look back at the highlights of her family’s cruise and offers tips for planning yours. What tips do you have to add?

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A Mom’s Take: Cabo San Lucas Fun in the Sun with Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 8th, 2012 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Are you considering a Disney cruise to the Mexican Riviera? Then hopefully you’ve been watching our new video series that gives you a mom’s point of view on Disney Cruise Line’s seven-night voyages to the Mexican Riviera.

Our Disney Cruise Line Mom, Andi, has shared how your family can experience the rich Mexican culture, both onboard and in the charming town of Puerto Vallarta. In this next video Andi shows the fun in the sun her family had in Cabo San Lucas!

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A Mom’s Take: Exploring Puerto Vallarta with Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 6th, 2012 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Last week we introduced a new video series on sailing to the Mexican Riviera with Disney Cruise Line. These videos take you on the adventures of our Disney Cruise Line Mom, Andi, and her family as they sail aboard the Disney Wonder along the sun-kissed Baja Peninsula.

Here’s a look at the first stop in their journey, the culturally rich town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:

Next stop: sunny Cabo San Lucas!

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Moms Panel Monday: Meet a Mom Who’s in on Disney’s Best Kept Secret, Disney Vacation Club

posted on February 6th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Whether she is organizing a Disney vacation for hundreds of high school students or a gathering for 50 of her closest loved ones, Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Andrea Houston-Lingman says planning the perfect pixie-dusted vacation is her true passion.

Walt Disney World Moms Panel Andrea Houston-Lingman with her Family at Disney Parks

New to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel this year, Andrea is a teacher and busy mom of two whose specialty is helping others learn about Disney vacations with Disney Vacation Club. She has a knack for planning trips with teen travelers in mind and with more than 25 trips to Walt Disney World Resort under her belt, Andrea can answer just about any question you can dream of!

Some of Andrea’s favorite Disney Vacation Club Resorts include Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. She loves Saratoga Springs Resort so much that she even remodeled her bathroom at home to resemble the villa’s bathroom!

Q: What do you recommend for families who are planning their first stay at a Disney Vacation Club Resort?
A: Plan ahead! You can get a sense of what each Disney Vacation Club property has to offer just by looking on the website before you go so you will spend less time planning and more time playing once you get there.

Q: What’s a tip for families vacationing with tweens in tow?
A: It depends on your comfort level, but if you have little ones who aren’t ready for the ‘big kid’ rides, splitting into groups for a few hours while you’re at the parks gives your teens or pre-teens a little independence in a safe environment. For example, my 13-year-old daughter brought one of her friends along on our last trip to Walt Disney World and they were allowed to play on their own for two hours before we all met for lunch. Just that little bit of flexibility in the plans made them feel like they had a special part of the vacation that was just for them.

Q: What is your advice for setting up a large group visit to Walt Disney World Resort?
A: This March will mark the sixth year in a row that I’m serving as a chaperone on my school’s senior class trip with more than 400 high school kids. One thing I’ve learned from big groups is that you can’t please everyone but you can still have a great experience. There is something for everyone at Walt Disney World and making sure you sit down with your group before your trip to create a list of everyone’s “must sees” will help you decide what to focus on.

Q: Can you share one of your favorite memories during a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort?
A: There are so many! One of them has to be when my daughter was three years old and we took her, along with my in-laws, to have breakfast with the princesses for the first time. I will never forget watching her meet each princess and then seeing the smiles on her grandparents’ faces. My mother in law cried her eyes out that day!

Want to ask Andrea a question about your next vacation? Visit DisneyWorldMoms.com.

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A Mom’s Take: Sailing to the Mexican Riviera with Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 1st, 2012 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


What can you expect on a Disney cruise to the Mexican Riviera?

Through a series of videos, our Disney Cruise Line Mom Andi shows us her family’s experience on a seven-night voyage to the Mexican Riviera.

Check out the first video to see how Mexican culture comes aboard the Disney Wonder!

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