Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1956 ~ 60 Days to 60 Years of Disneyland

I am such a huge Disney fan, visiting Disneyland is pretty close to the top of my Disney Bucket List. So I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the 60 Days to 60 Years of Disneyland Celebration! I have always been a devoted fan of Walt Disney and I am so happy to share history from a year when he was so involved in Disneyland.
1956 was the first full year that Disneyland was in operation. There were so many naysayers just waiting for it to fail, and the Disney Company was determined to prove them all wrong, needless to say they were successful.  In a press release issued by Disneyland, Inc. by the time of Disneyland's first anniversary almost 4,000,000 had visited the park, 41% who were from outside of California, as a matter of fact Disneyland had already had visitors from 64 different countries - including Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union.  Celebrities, world leaders and even Vice President Richard Nixon had visited Disneyland since it opened.  Actually, Disneyland was the largest single enterprise attraction in the Western Hemisphere!
And "Walt's Folly" appealed to adults as much as it did to children, if not more so.  According to the same press release four adults visited for every child.  Adult admission to the park was $1.00, with the option of buying a "Plus 8" add on for a total of $3.00 and later in the year the number of attractions for the add on was increased to 10. Guests who visited the park spent an average $2.37 per person - and that included admission, parking, rides and souvenirs!
In 1956 Disney completed a $2 million expansion which included the Disneyland Skyway, the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train Ride, the Indian Village and War Canoes, Storybook Land and Tom Sawyer's Island. As Walt promised, the park continued to grow and refine itself to offer unparalleled entertainment during it's first year - and continues to do so to this very day.

June 23, 1956 the Skyway attraction opened in Fantasyland, it remained there for almost 30 years. Notice the joy in Walt’s face as he opened the attraction from the chalet-like setting.
The most popular attractions during the year were Peter Pan in Fantasyland, the Advertureland Jungle River Boat Ride, the Disneyland and Santa Fe trains (which I am sure made Walt very happy), and the Autopia Freeway's miniature autos in Tomorrowland.  Disneyland introduced "D" Tickets in 1956, these tickets were for Disney's more popular attractions and included: Astro-Jets, Keller's Jungle Killers, Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad Fantasyland Station, Skyway, Rocket to the Moon, Storybook Canal, Mine Train, Pack Mules, Stage Coach, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Rafts, Indian War Canoes, Junior Autopia and Jungle Cruise. 

"D" ticket attractions cost 50 cents in 1956. Not much by today's standards, but a much bigger expense for a family of 4 at the time. 

July 1956 the Barstow Family of Wethersfield, Connecticut won a Disneyland Dream vacation in a contest sponsored by Scotch Brand Cellophane Tape. Here is a link to the family home video of their trip, it really gives you a feel for what Disneyland was really like in 1956, and the family is adorable!

One last bit of Disneyland trivia, 1956 say Disneyland's first fireworks presentation. The first shows were actually produced by employees lighting individual fuses - can you imagine? It would be a few years before the technology came for the fireworks to be launched electronically and synchronized to music.

I hope you've enjoyed taking a trip back in time to Disneyland 1956 with me today. Oh how I wish I could have visited and the time and just caught a glimpse of one of the most amazing men of all time. Thanks for Disneyland, and all of the other amazing things you brought into the world Uncle Walt.
Have a Magical Day!
Donna Kay

Monday, May 18, 2015

Disney Cruise Line Fall 2016 Ports & Itineraries

Just in case I haven't mentioned it lately I LOVE working or Guru Travel! I am so excited to tell you all about the exciting things coming to Disney Cruise Line Fall 2016!


Sailings from popular home ports return for limited-time engagements.

In the fall of 2016, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York for a limited time with sailings to the Bahamas that include a visit to Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. New seven-night Caribbean cruises from Miami, Florida and a return to Galveston, Texas round out the season.
Return to New York
On Oct. 7, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on an eight-night Bahamian cruise that includes stops at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and Port Canaveral, Florida, which is located just one hour from the Walt Disney World Resort.
On Oct. 15, 22 and 29, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on seven-night cruises that stop at Disney Castaway Cay and Port Canaveral.
Adding to the magic on each of these Bahamian cruises will be the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney World Resort when the ship stops at nearby Port Canaveral. Each Guest on these sailings will receive a 1-Day Theme Park Ticket with Park HopperOption and round-trip transportation for the short trip between the ship and the Walt Disney World Resort.
On Oct. 2, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from New York on a five-night cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. In these charming Canadian ports, Guests can soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafes and shops, and browse Canada's oldest farmer's market.
New Seven-night Cruises from Miami
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line Guests will be able to enjoy a season of seven-night voyages from Miami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. On Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 2016, the Disney Magic will sail from Miami to the Western Caribbean including Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Disney Castaway Cay. On Nov. 27 and Dec. 11, the Disney Magic will sail to the Eastern Caribbean including Tortola, St. Thomas and Disney Castaway Cay. On Dec. 23, the Disney Magic will sail to Tortola, San Juan and Disney Castaway Cay.
Additional Miami sailings include a four-night Bahamas cruise departing on Nov. 16, a five-night Bahamas cruise departing on Dec. 18, and a six-night Western Caribbean cruise departing on Dec. 30, 2016, Each sailing will include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
Return to Galveston
In late 2016, Disney Cruise Line returns to Texas with a lineup of seven-night itineraries, including Bahamian sailings that stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. On Nov. 18, Nov. 25, Dec. 9, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, 2016, the Disney Wonder will sail on a seven-night Bahamian itinerary from Galveston to Key West, Disney Castaway Cay and Nassau.
On Dec. 2, the Disney Wonder will sail on a seven-night Caribbean itinerary from Galveston to Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. On Dec. 16, the Disney Wonder will sail from Galveston on a seven-night cruise to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. Two four-night sailings to Cozumel on Nov. 10 and Nov. 14, round up the sailings from Galveston.
Most of the late 2016 cruises include either Halloween or winter-holiday events that bring special entertainment, activities and décor to the Disney Cruise Line ships.
How exciting is this news?? Did you see a cruise you are interested in? I would love to help you plan your Disney Cruise Line vacation! You can email me at donnakay@thewdwguru.com or call me at 877-825-6146 ext 706 today for a quote.
Have a Magical Day!
Donna Kay

Monday, April 27, 2015


One of my favorite things to do as a member of the Guru Travel team of Authorized Disney Vacation Planners is let you know about fabulous offers from Disney. Today Disney announced dates for one of their most popular promotions - Free Dining.  

You can get a FREE* Dining Plan when they purchase a non-discounted 6-Night/7-Day Walt Disney Travel Companypackage that includes a room at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels and ticket with Park Hopper® or Water Park Fun & More Option.
Offer valid for arrivals most nights Aug. 28 – Oct. 2, Oct. 25-31, Nov. 8-19, Dec. 15-21, 2015 when you book April 27 – July 10, 2015.
When you stay at a select Disney Moderate Resort, Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resort, you get the Disney Dining Plan with a variety of delicious dining options! When you stay at a select Disney Value Resort, you get the Quick-Service Dining Plan that allows you to grab yummy treats on the go!
Ask about packages for other lengths of stay.
Booking Window: April 27 – July 10, 2015
Arrival Window: Aug. 28 – Oct. 2, Oct. 25-31, Nov. 8-19, Dec. 15-21, 2015

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same package. Tickets and options must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard View Rooms, campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort and Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort (for select dates). Dining plan excludes gratuities and alcoholic beverages. Children ages 3-9 must order from children's menu, if available. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

To get started simply fill out this quote form when you choose your travel dates and I will contact you shortly thereafter.

Have a Magical Day!!
Donna Kay  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Get Your Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party & Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets Before It's Too Late!!

Tickets are finally available for the wildly popular Mickey's No-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. These are two of the most popular events at Walt Disney World every year, and they will definitely sell out. (See the prices below. FYI they do NOT include tax).

Wondering what all the hoopla is about? Well there's the fact that this is the only event where adults can dress as a Disney character. And there's also lots of great entertainment throughout the Magic Kingdom during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Eerie Entertainment

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Sept. 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27; Oct. 1, 2015

Advance Purchase Price: $68 for adults/$63 for children (ages 3-9)

Day of Event Price: $74 for adults/$69 for children (ages 3-9)

Oct. 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, Nov. 1, 2015

Advance Purchase Price: $74 for adults/$69 for children (ages 3-9)

Day of Event Price: $79 for adults/$74 for children (ages 3-9)

Oct. 31, 2015: $87 for adults/$82 for children (ages 3-9)

 Then there's Walt Disney World during the holidays! The most wonderful time of the year in the Happiest Place on Earth. It doesn't get much better than that!

Live Entertainment

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Nov. 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19; Dec. 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 2015

Advance Purchase Price: $74 for adults/$69 for children (ages 3-9)

Day of Event Price: $79 for adults/$74 for children (ages 3-9)

Nov. 20, 29; Dec. 4, 11, 17, 2015: $79 for adults/$74 for children (ages 3-9)

Dec. 18, 2015: $84 for adults/$77 for children (ages 3-9)

Do you have a question about one of these fabulous Walt Disney World special events? Are you ready to buy tickets or book your Walt Disney World vacation? As a member of  Guru Travel (an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner), I would love to help! You can request a quote, email me at donnakay@thewdwguru.com or call 877-825-6146 ext 706.

Have a Magical Day!!
Donna Kay

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Psst...There's A New Place To Get A Dole Whip - And A Great Night's Sleep!!

That's right!! A new place to get a Dole Whip, I can hear Disney fans cheering around the world!!

You can enjoy a variety of new dining and recreation experiences with signature touches at the newly re-imagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort.

As you arrive you will be greeted in the Great Ceremonial House, which features dramatic new décor, a signature chandelier and a new Tiki statue welcoming Guests with his outstretched arms.

In search of tropical snacks and libations? You will find them at new dining locations. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, located off the Great Ceremonial House, is a themed lounge featuring exotic drinks and small plates. Plus, the adjacent Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace offers views of the marina and Seven Seas Lagoon.

The nearby Pineapple Lanai serves the world-famous Dole Whip soft serve ice cream and floats.

Lilo’s Playhouse, an enhanced supervised childcare option, allows parents to enjoy an evening date night together.

Plus, when open, the resort’s newly redesigned Lava Pool will feature a highly themed children’s water play area, Kiki Tiki Splash Play Area, and an enlarged deck for poolside seating.

The newly re-imagined Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort also features 360 new Deluxe Studio accommodations (opening in phases through summer 2015) and 20 over-the-water Bungalows.

I'm ready to pack my bags, how about you? I need to plan a trip in the name of research, right?? If you want to check out the re-imagined Polynesian for yourself, as a member of the Guru Travel team of Authorized Disney Vacation Planners, I would love to help.  You can email me at donnakay@thewdwguru.com or request a quote.

Aloha & Have A Magical Day!!
Donna Kay

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