Moving to ZnuggaZahug.com!

Hi there – we are in the process of moving over to start using ZnuggaZahug.com instead of inspiredbydisney.com.

With the InspiredbyDisney site and related Twitter and Instagram accounts we focused mostly on Disney World vacations and we wanted to expand to a broader area and do more family stuff around home.

So ZnuggaZahug.com was born and we have created Twitter and Instagram accounts (@znuggazahug for both) as well as a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYuz89qJcWr3AejTDNJ8_g). 

The site and social media account haven’t been active yet but we have added a few Disney and mermaid videos to watch on YouTube.

Please have a look and join us for this change. Hope you have some fun!

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January 2017 – family trip – report 10

February 1st:

I got up early to sign up for Dopey Challenge for January 2018 as I had it in my head that the pre-registration for Annual Passholders started today. I was mistaken though, whoops!

We had decided that our next family trip to Disney World was going to be over the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend the next year and it apparently can be tough to get DVC rooms at Boardwalk Villas for that period. We wanted to start our stay on January 1st, and with Boardwalk Villas being our home resort that meant that this morning had our 11 month window opened up. Apparently some people do lots of tricks like walking forward reservations to try to save a spot and other things so getting just what we wanted was going to take timing.

I tried to do a DVC booking at about 8 am for Jan 1 to Jan 8 but the online booking was down until the 9 am EST and the DVC offices don’t open until 9 either.

It was going to be a mad scramble to get what we wanted! The availability tools seemed to indicate that it was available but we just couldn’t book it with the online booking down for maintenance.

I started hitting refresh every 10-20 seconds just before 9am and managed to get in and actually booked exactly what we wanted! A minute or so later there was no availability. That was tight!

We then did the final pack up and got out the door of the room shortly after 11. Dropped the bags with bell services to be picked up when we get on the Magical Express this afternoon and started our final tour.

We walked to Epcot, wandered through and took the monorail to Magic Kingdom (TTC) – we did one more check for K’s glasses at the lost and found with no luck and then took the monorail to the park. Got warm today so we enjoyed the heat – was not enjoying my cold / allergies though.

Pic of me not enjoying the allergies while on the monorail to TTC

We made sure to do TTA people mover and It’s a Small World. We had lunch at Cosmic Rays and after some more wandering we headed out to the busses. We waited and waited and no Boardwalk bus came so we got on the second Yacht and Beach Club bus we saw come through. Hopped off at the Yacht to do a walk through there before heading out to the Boardwalk area to walk to the hotel.

We let K and T play a bit in the play area and we checked out the DVC Community Hall before  getting our luggage and settling in to wait for the Magical Express bus.

It came a bit early – or they let us on a slightly earlier bus. Mixed blessing – don’t like waiting but don’t want to leave too early either.

Magical Express used to drop at both A and B side depending on what carrier you were with but it appears that this has changed. We were dropped off on the B side and we had to walk to the A side to drop our bags with our carrier.

After a bit of a wait to do that we headed straight through security which was a bit slow and then took the small monorail to our gate.

We had independent snacking along the way and got on the plane. I got in to the window seat to try to sleep because of the cold meds I was on but managed to break my Kindle in the process. Yay!

The flight was good though and after we landed it was a quick and easy run through Canadian customs but we ended up having to wait a bit at the back of the line since the kids needed to go to the bathroom just as we were getting in line.

Short wait for our luggage and headed out of the secured area to pop open our bags and find warm jackets. Then out into the deep cold to get to the truck.

Quick ride home and kids straight to bed around 1:30 am.

We managed to get them up and had them at school on time in the morning!

Next was breakfast and then we went to pick up the pups from the kennel and bring them home.

It was a good trip!

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January 2017 – family trip – report 9

January 31st:

Last full day! We got the Magical Express envelope under our door through the night – pickup 4:30 pm the next day. That’s pretty good as we get time to do stuff before we have to leave.

We decided to walk over to Beach Club this morning – grab breakfast from the Marketplace and then eat in the Solarium. We enjoy having a snack in the Solarium – love the atmosphere – we are glad that the little tea event Disney was doing in the Solarium is not occurring anymore as we missed the place.

Then a bus from Beach Club over to Animal Kingdom.

Photo Pass pic of the family heading into Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris – we hadn’t had a day ride yet this trip on it so it was nice to do that. Heather was hoping to see the new baby elephant – we kind of did back over our shoulders but it wasn’t a great picture opportunity.

Heading into Harambe Wildlife Reserve at Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safari ride

 

back end of a blurry baby elephant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

After an ice cream we headed out and caught a bus back to Boardwalk.

Then a bit of a rest in the room and then headed on down to the pool and hot tub. The kids did a lot of slide runs and K did some stuff with the entertainment crew.

We had lunch by the pool before heading back up to the room and eventually heading over to Epcot for our last night.

We snacked our way around the park and caught Illuminations (we did Spaceship Earth and once we got off I did our pre-check in for our flights the next day).

Fountains at France pavilion at Epcot World Showcase

 

T and K from World Showcase with a view of Spaceship Earth at night

There was a section of World Showcase where the lights were out (near Morocco) and we saw lights flicker hard just after we got in the park crossing the bridge to France. There were also several rides down – Frozen Ever After for quite a while, Test Track and Imagination for the whole time. Soarin’ and Spaceship Earth for a shorter time. Apparently Epcot was having some power issues that night!

There were Extra Magic Hours but after doing Nemo I was just done. T wanted to go back to the room as well and relax.

So T and I went back to the hotel and Heather and K stayed in Epcot. They did meet and greets with the Mickey crew, Anna and Elsa and managed to get on Frozen Ever After when they finally opened it again (apparently it was deserted).

Anna and Elsa in Epcot

 

Deserted Frozen Ever After 1

 

Deserted Frozen Ever After 2

 

Selfy of Heather and K with France in the background in Epcot

 

Boardwalk Villas and Inn at night

Packing and then bed!

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January 2017 – family trip – report 8

January 30th:

We got the kids up and moving and I headed into Hollywood Studios with the kids after a quick breakfast of left over pizza.

Heather stayed at the hotel to get laundry done and have a bit of a relax but the kids and I were on a mission to make sure we hit Star Tours since we hadn’t gotten it done earlier in the week.

We walked over and even though it was cool it was still a sunny morning – so it was a nice walk. It is nice when I can spend some time with the kids when we don’t all have our noses buried in electronics!

After we got through security we went immediately to Star Tours – it indicated a 20 minute wait but it took less than that to get through the line.

We decided to ride again even though it said there was now a 25 minute wait. It took less than that again.

K on the speeder bike

Next was Muppets 3D before grabbing some lunch and heading out of the park.

Once we made it back to the hotel we stopped at the laundry room and helped Heather bring the clothes up to the room.

Heather relaxing by the pool at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas while waiting for laundry to finish.

After a bit of a rest we got ready and took the bus to Magic Kingdom.

K Princess on the bus

We wanted to see if we could find our daughter’s glasses so we took the monorail to TTC (whoohoo – whole car to ourselves!) and walked to the lost and found area. The guy working there seemed a bit out of it and couldn’t find the glasses.

We hopped the monorail back to Magic Kingdom and asked at the Town Hall guest services and they didn’t have anything so they suggested checking at the ride, just in case.

After that we still had some time so we decided to check out the Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom game for the first time. We got the run through from the cast member and our first set of cards. We got part way through the game before we decided we had to stop to get to our fast pass.

We went and used our Space Ranger spin fast pass and then walked up to the People Mover. It looked like they had just had to stop the ride and after waiting for a while we decided we couldn’t wait anymore.

We were just heading out of Tomorrowland when they got People Mover working again but we continued on to Cinderella’s Castle for our dining reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

After getting checked in we went in we had a short wait and managed to quickly grab a pic of 3 little princesses dressed as Cinderella all waiting for supper.

3 Cinderella’s at Cinderella’s Royal Table

We got our pictures taken with Cinderella and had a short wait until we were called up to the restaurant.

Disney Photopass – Cinderella at Cinderella’s Royal Table

 

Disney’s Photopass – the family with Cinderella at Cinderella’s Royal Table

 

Cinderella’s Royal Table Menu

We had a great meal, good food, great service, had the 4 princesses visit the table and got pictures. Had some champagne too.

Aurora at Cinderella’s Royal Table

 

Aurora at Cinderella’s Royal Table with K and T

 

Snow White at Cinderella’s Royal Table

 

Ariel at Cinderella’s Royal Table

 

Jasmine at Cinderella’s Royal Table

After the fun supper, we wandered out to check at Barnstormer to see if they had K’s glasses. The Cast Members described their nightly and daily routine and it sure made it sound that they would not have missed the glasses in the pouch. We resolved to go back to TTC lost and found and hope a different cast member was there.

We let the kids ride the ride and they were supper excited to get front row.

Then we went and watched Wishes from the bridge area between Be Our Guest and Gaston’s.

Heather got a shot of me shooting fireworks

We then went and rode the Ariel ride twice back to back.

Scuttle on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

 

Ursula in Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

After that we did Philharmagic and ended with Peter Pan.

Then a walk out to the buses and the ride back to the hotel. Bus to Magic Kingdom had been direct for Boardwalk but at the end of the night they were running the 5 Boardwalk area resorts together. Still was fairly quick to get back to the hotel.

We checked out the main store before heading back to the room to relax and unwind.

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January 2017 – family trip – report 7

January 29th:

I got up around 7 and was not able to get back to sleep so I had a snack and did some typing.

Our first magic pass for the day was not set to be until almost 11 so we decided to take it easy in the room and around the hotel before walking into Epcot later to ride Soarin’ and check out the Festival of the Arts activities.

We got to Soarin’ right near the end of the fast pass window and we all rode the ride.

We then got on our fast pass for Living with the Land before heading to the DVC lounge to plan our day and have a snack.

Then a wander over to the Odyssey building which was the main building for the Festival of the Arts. We tried the cronuts, the flat bread and the beer flight before checking out the art in the building. We had never been in the Odyssey building before so that was interesting as well.

Festival Showplace at the Odyssey in Epcot

We did get a huge number of pictures through the PhotoPass folks at various special booths they had set up in honor of the Festival of the Arts – I will look at doing a special post just for those at a later time!

Next we went to the Mexico pavilion and did the Kidcot station. They were doing an artist’s palette in honor of the Festival instead of a Duffy or Perry the Platypus like the last few times the kids had done of the stations.

After that we rode the Three Caballeros ride.

We moved on to Norway for the Kidcot station and a scan of the store before moving to China to do the same.

Then we walked through Africa to Germany where I went to get a beer and a giant pretzel for us to share while Heather took the kids to the Kidcot station.

Next it was Italy and after the Kidcot station we stopped to watch a street performer and I got pulled in as the patsy for a ball toss game with the clown street performer. Our son T did not like me being made fun of but I talked to him after to let him know that I was in on the joke and that I was ok. He is pretty protective of his family.

We then continued on finishing up all the remaining Kidcot stations to fill out the kids’ palettes. We checked the art and Heather made sure to do some sampling along the way.

As part of the festival there were living statues out in front of the Fountain of Nations and K had to have some pictures taken with one. He snuck her glasses off of her head while she was distracted.

Living statues in Epcot as part of Festival of the Arts

We had promised the kids ice cream – so even though it was cold we went in search of ice cream. We ended up at the vendor in front of the Electric Umbrella and T, K and I had ice cream and Heather made us take a picture in front of the fountain.

Ice cream in front of Fountain of Nations in Epcot

Then a quick run through Spaceship Earth before heading back to the Boardwalk area. We ordered pizza to take back to the room – I waited while Heather took the kids back to the room.

We had a quick supper looking out the patio doors to the Boardwalk.

Saw partial Illuminations and Wishes from our room.

Illuminations from Boardwalk Villas room

We took it easy and rested for the evening – it has been tiring trip so far!

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