ADVENTURES by DISNEY
- Viva Italia!
(Or, How Disney Helped Me to Stop Worrying and Love the Limoncello)
by Dotti Saroufim W. Roxbury, MA
Here are some abbreviated excerpts from Dotti’s “Viva Italia!” experience. For the full story and photos of each day’s adventure, please click on the link at the end of this article. This is the second of two reports on Disney’s new travel division, which offers the Disney touch to travel to such destinations as Hawaii, Costa Rica, Italy, London & Paris.
Day One: Benvenuto!
Flying in from Logan Airport in Boston made Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport seem sane and organized. The signs were plentiful and clear, and we made our way to the baggage claim without any confusion. There we were met by an Adventures by Disney representative, carrying what would soon become a very familiar sign. After claiming our bags, we were led out to the customs area, where we met our first Adventure Guide, Tina Hyatt.
We soon (very soon -- whoosh!) arrived at the Westin, our luggage was taken at the door, and we entered the ornately decorated front door to find ourselves in a magnificent chandeliered lobby -- what a lovely hotel! I don’t honestly know how or where we found Cinzia Orlando, our other Adventures by Disney guide, but like magic she was by our side. After excusing herself to take care of the guests who arrived shortly before us, she came over to where we had found a comfortable place to sit and wait, and told us that our room was actually ready at this early hour. It must be Disney magic! She gave us a little tour of the hotel, including a glimpse at the wonderful spa and indoor pool, and showed us where we’d be meeting for the evening events. Our “Daily Viva” noted an “Adventure Welcome” at 5:30 p.m. and a dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Day Two: All Roads Lead to Rome
Our day began with an amazing array of food at the breakfast buffet in the hotel’s restaurant -- and with the best coffee I may ever have tasted! I’d go back to Rome just for that. We then met up with our Adventure Guides, and also with our local guide, Fabrizio, for our walking tour of Rome. Fabrizio would be a familiar site (and voice) for the next few days, and we became very accustomed to his, “Andiamo, my friend, Andiamo,” (“Let’s go!”) as we moved from place to place. We were all given individual headsets and lanyards, so that we could hear Fabrizio from a distance -- so much better than the olden days of guides shouting to large groups of tourists, and those like me, who lagged behind to take photos, missing most of what was said. We were also handed cold water bottles and snacks to pack up and take with us -- a thoughtful touch!...Click here for the full story
Dancing at Disney
by Tammy Bristol, CT
Our daughter Megan has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been dancing competitively since age 7. At the age of 8 she did her very first solo and her teacher Mark picked the song “Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boo” for her as he knew of her love for Disney.
It so happened that year of competition her dance nationals were being held in Orlando. Since her dance was to “Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boo”, Megan wanted oh so much to have her picture taken with The Fairy Godmother with her dance award. We knew she is always at the castle for breakfast, so we went to City Hall to make reservations to find out they were booked solid the entire rest of the time we were there. We were so disappointed but asked the cast member (CM) where else we could see The Fairy Godmother and was told only during the parade she would be on a float. The CM asked why we wanted to see her so badly and we explained the dance and how she wanted to have her picture taken with her and her award. The CM asked us to wait and she went into the back office. When she came out she told us she had some exciting news for us and that she had made arrangements for us to have a special private meeting with The Fairy Godmother and to come back to city hall after the afternoon parade for our meeting.
After the parade we went back to City Hall for our special meeting. Fairy Godmother couldn't have been any more gracious to Megan and was so pleased to have her picture taken with her. She spent over a half hour with her talking and asking about her dance and what she would like to do in the future and Megan told her that her dream was to dance at Disney. Fairy Godmother told her she hoped her dream comes true and gave her a special pin. To this day our daughter still talks about that special day and she is now 14 still dancing and still hoping to fulfill her dream to dance at Disney.
"Buzz" From our Readers!
by Kelly McDonough, GA
We had a wonderful experience using MouseEarVacations.com; everything was booked in advance with reservations for every meal. We highly recommend the Disney Dining Plan. What a wonderful idea, lots of food for everyone. The kids especially enjoyed the many character meals we had; my personal favorite was at Chef Mickey's with 6 characters.
Another thing we enjoyed was earning our co-pilot license on the Disney monorail, all you have to do is request to sit up front with the driver, it holds 4 passengers and is a magnificent view. The kids get a co-pilot license and sticker wings when you’re done --great for your scrapbook.
The kids also received certificates for a certifiably magical moment at the Magic Kingdom. In one of the stores, they got to have a Stitch android race, and everyone who participated won a certificate. We had many Magical Moments on our trip!!
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