Start of Something New

I have some big news to share with you. I mentioned that my trip last week was a research trip, and today I’m going to tell you what for. You see, I was down in Orlando finding a place to live… because I’m going to work for Disney!

At the end of May, I will be starting a year-long professional internship with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online. I am beyond excited, of course. It does mean some big changes, though.

The first will be moving from Chicago to Orlando. Last week, I brought down a carload of stuff and filled a storage unit. In a couple weeks, after I graduate with my master’s degree, I’ll drive down again with the rest of the stuff I’m taking. I found a great apartment just minutes from where I’ll be working and super close to the parks.

The other big change has to do with Vacationearing. Starting today, the blog is going on hiatus until my employment with Disney ends. I will probably still be doing some updating of old posts, adding photos and new information from my trip, but there won’t be any new posts for a while. If you subscribe via RSS or email, like the site on Facebook, or follow on Twitter, you’ll be notified when I’m updating again.

I hope you still keep the site bookmarked for reference—there are ninety-five past posts here for you to read if you haven’t yet. If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, be sure to review my Auntie Tips. If you wonder if what you love can be found in Walt Disney World, use the categories or search to find out.

Finally, I want to thank you so much for your support. Today is the blog’s seven-month anniversary, and we just passed 5,000 all-time page views. That’s not much for some sites, but it’s very exciting to me. I’ve loved being able to share my love of Disney with you, and I’m excited to be able to do that on a more significant scale actually working with Disney.

Have a great big beautiful tomorrow, my friends!

Fireworks over Cinderella Castle during Wishes at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Auntie Tip: Birthday Cards from Princesses

Following up on Friday’s post about getting birthday cards signed by characters, I just had to share one more card. I picked this one up at Walgreens for only $1.99, and I loved how it has five baby princesses on it.

First birthday card featuring baby Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White

I already got two princesses to sign it … just three more to go!

Birthday card signed by Snow White and Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)

I found Princess Aurora and Snow White in Epcot, and I only waited about five or ten minutes for each of them! If your kids are dying to meet princesses, I recommend checking the Epcot Times Guide to find out when they will appear in their respective countries. If you catch them at the right time, the wait can be much shorter than in Magic Kingdom.

Sign for Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Princess Storybook DiningAnother way to meet a lot of princesses at once is to do the Princess Storybook Dining experience at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway in Epcot. I did breakfast there a couple years ago, and my niece loved meeting so many princesses in one day. My baby nephew also attracted some attention, resulting in lipstick kiss marks on each cheek. It was adorable!

Where is your favorite place to meet the princesses in Walt Disney World?

Auntie Tip: Birthday Cards from Characters

I spent today in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, and it was magical! The crowds were light, and the weather was perfect.

I tried a new idea today that I wanted to share with you. This trip is kid-free, but I wanted to get something special for my nieces and nephews who have birthdays coming up. So, I bought Disney birthday cards (Hallmark brand, from Kohl’s) and brought them along, and today I had some characters sign them.

Third birthday card signed by Donald Duck in Walt Disney World

First birthday card signed by Mickey Mouse in Walt Disney World

Cool, huh? I have more cards that I’m going to get signed tomorrow.

If you decide to try this tip, I recommend buying cards with multiple characters on them so you have a choice of who could sign them (unless, of course, there’s one favorite character you must get). Make sure you bring something hard to write on. I used the stack of cards. I also recommend using a Sharpie marker, because it seems easier for the characters with gloves to handle. Make sure not to close the card or touch the signature until you’re sure it’s dry, especially if the card is made of a glossy paper. You could also take a picture of the character signing the card and include a print in the card, so the child knows the character really signed it—not you doing your best Mickey Mouse signature.

If you like this idea but want more flexibility of what to do with the signature, check out my tip about collecting character autographs on index cards.

That’s my tip from today in the parks. I’m looking forward to another magical day tomorrow!

Greetings from Florida

I don’t have a regular post for you today, but I have a good excuse. Here it is:

Exit for Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios from Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

That’s right: I’m in Florida! I haven’t made it to Walt Disney World yet, but I will on Friday, so you can expect a post from the park (or back at the hotel that night). I’m here on a research trip, the purpose of which will be revealed in the next month. Stay tuned!

10 Things to Do in Walt Disney World If You Love Donald Duck

After seventeen character-themed posts, I thought it was about time I featured a member of the Fab Five. I’d like to work up to the Big Cheese, so I decided to start with Donald Duck. That mischievous, lisping duck has many fans, and if you’re one of them, you’ll enjoy this list of things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Donald Duck.

1. Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Although the attraction is named after Mickey, Donald is really the star of this show. He steals Mickey’s sorcerer hat and then takes a trip through classic scenes from Disney movies. He gets his comeuppance at the end, giving you the opportunity to see him somewhat more up-close and personal. To avoid giving it away, I won’t say any more.

Also, remember to look up in the store by the exit to spot Donald again.

Donald Duck in the shop near Mickey's PhilharMagic in Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

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