The Thing About Busy

It’s Sunday night and I’m doing my best to sit here and “get things done” in tandem with fixing dinner, facilitating bath time and thinking about the possibility of just sitting back and relaxing for the rest of the evening. Tonight I’m feeling a smidge bit guilty for being behind on my “31 Days” blog posts. If you’re keeping track of the dates, earlier I posted “Day 8″– only it’s October 12th. That puts me 4 days in the hole and I feel toe-scuffling guilty. Only, I really shouldn’t feel guilty; You know why? These blog posts aren’t producing the most fruit for my business or for my personal sanity right now. What is producing good fruit is when I post on Facebook or Instagram about Lovespun Studio or A Happy Trip. What also produces good fruit is when I shut down my brain and just relax.


The thing about being busy is that we have to measure the value in our actions. A chronically busy person burns out. We can only sustain a harried pace for so long. Some longer that other. I am admittedly on the short-term end of that spectrum. As I’ve gotten more familiar with my habits and my patterns and my tolerance levels over the past few years, I realize that I have two choices when my gauge starts pushing beyond “BUSY.” I can: A) Back off or B) Burn out.

So this is blog post is here to serve as notice that I’m choosing to back off for the moment. In addition to the shop and travel responsibilities, I am speaking at a retreat next weekend and facilitating the time with the teenage girls who will be there. And that– that’s connecting with people. Choosing to invest my heart into preparing for next weekend is going to the top of my “to do” this week. If I have time I will pop back in this week and add a few more days.

I fully plan to have 31 posts on “Planning Your Disney Dream Vacation” when all is said and done. In all likelihood, it simply won’t be finished in the month of October. I’m ok with that. Are you ok with that? Thank you for letting me learn and grow and have a safe space to rearrange my priorities. It’s so important to keep evaluating and changing and growing. It’s important to give yourself permission and grace to readjust commitments that don’t compromise a promise to another person. If there is something in your life that is bogging you down and it is something that you can let go– then let it go. Life is too short for stress.


Day 8: My Favorite ______________? Magic Kingdom Snack

Day 8 My Favorite Magic Kingdom Snack

I’m going to keep this short– and simple– and deliciously sweet. Much like my last “What’s Your Favorite?” post about my favorite ride at Walt Disney World, there was no close contender for my favorite snack at the Magic Kingdom.

In a snack-tastic land brimming with options like LeFou’s Brew and a Roasted Pork Shank at Gaston’s Tavern, or the classic Disney staple of the Mickey Bar available within eye-shot of almost every vantage point around the park, it’s actually somewhat surprising that only one snack in the Magic Kingdom has stolen my heart. But it’s true. My favorite snack at the Magic Kingdom is: The Dole Whip {more specifically, a pineapple Dole Whip float}

Dole Whip frozen dessert and float

That up there?  That frozen perfection is the tart, creamy, goodness that dreams are made of!  On the right is a plain dish of soft-serve pineapple Dole Whip and on the right, well, that’s super yumtastic. That is a pineapple Dole Whip float. It’s fresh pineapple juice and pineapple soft serve. Found at Aloha Isle in Adventureland {across from the Jungle Cruise attraction}, do yourself a favor and make sure that if you are going to WDW that you get one. If for any reason you aren’t going to the Magic Kingdom during your trip, then head over to the Polynesian Resort and you can find Dole Whip soft serve there.

Aloha Isle Sign

{image via}

While they also serve orange and vanilla varieties, neither of them are quite as good as the pineapple. I love me some orange-y goodness, but when it comes to Dole Whips, don’t mess with the original.

P.S. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, the Dole Whip float, priced at $4.99,  is an unbeatable use of your snack credit!

Day 7~ A Little Bit More About Where to Say at WDW

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Is it bad when you have to go back and re-read your former posts because you can’t remember what you are supposed to be writing about? Um, I’m just asking for a friend.

[awkward silence]

Moving on.

Since I left you with a really long list of all of the resorts at Disney yesterday, I think it is fairly reasonable to presume that I should elaborate a bit more on those resorts and just why I think that choosing one of them over other hotels around Orlando is my recommendation when you are planning a full Disney-immersive vacation.

First and foremost think: Disney Bubble. That could bring you peace of mind or sound slightly horrifying depending on your Disney tolerance level. I’m going to err on the side of Disney since you are here and reading a blog series all about planning a Disney dream vacation.

So let’s go back to those different categories of resorts that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. {click here if you need to go back and get a refresher}. I’m going to chat a bit about each category offer a top pick or two.

Disney’s Value Resorts-

The value resorts at Walt Disney World are certainly not the height of luxury; however, I  think that these are a perfectly wonderful option for WDW guests who plan to spend 80-90% of their waking hours at the parks or in downtown Disney. Value resorts present exactly what they claim: “VALUE.”

With multiple pools and a quick service food court, these accommodations are fun and functional.  I recommend upgrading from a standard room to a “preferred pool view.” While you will hear the activities underway at the main pool, you will also score the HUGE benefit of a minimal walk to get to your room within the resort. In fact, I keep choosing the Pop Century over moving up to a moderate resort for that reason alone. I really despise in-resort travel and wait times and the value options keep those two things at bay.

If you have 4 or fewer guests, my top value recommendation is the Pop Century. Unlike the All-Star value resorts, the Pop Century doesn’t share bus services to-and-from the parks. This is a major time-saver. Some of the moderates {and even deluxe resorts} share transportation with other resorts. No bueno.

If you have 5-6 guests, my top value resort recommendation is to score a suite at the Art of Animation resort. Can I just say, “TWO BATHROOMS!” {Now that is Disney luxury!} However, if you don’t have at least 5 in your party and thus you are looking at the Little Mermaid rooms, I would ONLY recommend it if you have your own transportation and don’t plan to rely on Disney to get you anywhere. The Little Mermaid Rooms are a LONG trek to the main building that hosts the food court and where bus transportation picks you up for the parks. Choose wisely, young grasshoppers!

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Moderate Resorts

This is where I part ways with many a Disney enthusiast. I just don’t see what the fuss is over the moderate resorts unless you are a) without kids or b) really really like walking forever just to get to your room after a long day of, wait for it…oh…walking. Let me throw my caveat in here– if you have a car with you– this doesn’t really matter. Go for the moderate.

While the moderates are much more spread out properties, they do have a few features that bump them up into a higher category than the value resorts. For starters, the moderate resort swimming pools have themed slides. If you aren’t a pool person, then no big dill; however, if you are spending 7-9 days in Orlando then having a rockin’ swimming pool where the adults can relax while the kids splash and play is a pretty great thing.

We stayed at the cabins in Fort Wilderness a couple of summers ago and the main pool was really really neat. But–transportation took a while. As I’ve said {I think like 3 times now} that isn’t such an issue if you have a vehicle– or if you rent a golf cart to get around. Let’s throw in a little transportation redemption here {because I’m feeling slightly curmudgeonly}. At the moderate resorts, there are boats. Boats are awesome. Think boats.

If you stay at Fort Wilderness Campground then you can take a boat to the Magic Kingdom. In fact, the boat dock lets you disembark as close as it gets to the park entrance. It’s blissful, I tell ya. If I were staying at a moderate, I would absolutely pick one that has a boat to somewhere…anywhere. Just let me chillax on a boat.

Also, the moderate resorts also have a nicer restaurant options rather that just a food court with quick service dining. If you want to go back to your resort to sit down to a nice meal, then moderate or deluxe is for you!


This is where I sigh and get a a little distracted and begin to daydream. If you are planning a your *dream* Disney vacation, then skip right on past the first two categories and stop right here on “deluxe.” Are you looking for easy transportation back and forth to the parks? Options here include monorail, boat, bus or even walking depending on your resort. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that friends.

Do you love Epcot and Hollywood Studios? Book the Beach or Yacht Club or the Boardwalk Villas. Does the Magic Kingdom hold the keys to your heart? Then ask about planning your next vacation with a stay at the Wilderness Lodge, The Grand Floridian, The Contemporary or The Polynesian. Finally, have you always dreamed of staying on a savannah? Then the Animal Kingdom Lodge is probably your closest bet.

Disney dumps out buckets of pixie dust on these resorts. If you truly get what you pay for when you stay at a deluxe resort, then I would say that the gettin’s pretty great. See that pool up there? Yeah. Awesome-sauce. It needs no further commentary.

The majority of the finest dining in all of Disney World is located within these resorts as well. Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare, The California Grill and, the ultimate, Albert and Victoria’s are all here. It’s the small touches that makes your stay at Walt Disney World a magical experience.

So there you have it. This is still not even slightly an all encompassing guide to the WDW resorts, but at least it offers you a sunbeam of hope as you navigate the ins-and-outs of discovering Disney.

If you’re stopping by from the Write 31 Days blog, “Hello!” To get caught up on my other days in this series, click on the button below!

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I can go and go and go…until I can’t. I’ve been on power-on mode for the past week and tonight my body is telling me to stop and breathe deeply and go to sleep. So I’m going to listen. It’s only taken me 34 years to figure out that charging through tired only leads to more tired. I know that I should be posting my “day 7″ in the Write 31 Days series, but well, day 7 will just have to wait a day or two. Never fear if that’s the whole reason that you stopped by. It’s in my drafts.

Tonight I rest. Tomorrow I teach. I write. I cook. I clean. I plan travel. And I have fun doing it all.

But tonight, I close my eyes and let my body recharge.  Rest really IS good for the soul.



Day 6: Are There Really 27 Resorts at Walt Disney World?

Short answer: Yes, there are REALLY 27 different resorts at Walt Disney World. Only amend that and make it 28– soon to be 29 with another one{ish} under construction at the Polynesian.

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That’s a whooooollllleeee lotta swimming pools and restaurants and shopping and plain ole Disney magic. And it’s completely and utterly awesome. …as long as you don’t get overwhelmed when choosing where to stay!

If this were a sitcom, that would be my cue to enter and do something cute and adorably awkward like Jess in The New Girl. Love her. *Jazz Hands*

Done. Ahem. Moving on.

So the resorts at Walt Disney World break down into a 3 {sorta 4} categories. Let’s just break them up first.

Value Resorts- These are the most economical of the Disney Resorts. ~Standard rooms sleep up to 4, Limited Suites at AS Music and Suites at Art of Animation sleep up to 5

  • All-Star Movies
  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Pop Century
  • Art of Animation
  • The Campsites at Fort Wilderness

Moderate Resorts- most rooms sleep up to 4, but there are very limited numbers that sleep up to 5– the cabins at Fort Wilderness sleep up to 6

  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Port Orleans- Riverside
  • Port Orleans- French Quarter
  • Coronado Springs
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness

Deluxe Resorts- most rooms sleep up to 5

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • The Polynesian
  • The Contemporary
  • Beach Club
  • Yacht Club
  • The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • The Wilderness Lodge
  • The Boardwalk Inn

Deluxe Villa Resorts- villas sleep up to 8 or 9

  • Bay Lake Tower- Contemporary
  • Animal Kingdom Villas- Jambo House
  • Animal Kingdom Villas- Kindani Village
  • Beach Club Villas
  • BoardWalk Villas
  • Old Key West Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Now I’m going to be Debbie Downer for a minute, m’kay? Please hold steadfast to these room numbers. As a travel agent, I can lose my booking privileges if a client sleeps more people in a room than allowed. Moreover, if Disney realizes what you’re up to, then they have every right to cancel your reservation and ask you to leave without a refund. Yipes. That would be really really awful! So just have integrity and book appropriately. Thanks!

This is where you stick a bookmark on this page for easy reference when you are trying to remember just which resorts fall into which categories at WDW. I had more planned to talk about in this post, but I don’t want you all to go into information overload, so I’ll just save that for tomorrow.

If you’re just now popping in and want to catch up on the first few posts in this series, then you can click the button below for me! Thanks for stopping by!

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