Six Christies

living life out loud and in color

As was rumored, the “Free Dining” promotion for travels in August – December 2017 has been released. This promotion is very limited and restricted to a handful of dates. If you are lucky enough to get one of these promotions, awesome! If you don’t, well perhaps it wasn’t meant to be – keep your eyes open for other promotions that may be released in the coming months; perhaps one of the others will be a better fit for your travel plans**. Regardless, if you are headed to Walt Disney World and plan to eat while you are at the resort, you will need a plan. The coveted castle dining reservation is like spotting an endangered species in just the right light of the day. Those who are well prepared snap an incredible photograph, and those who aren’t, scare the poor animal away while fumbling for the camera.

Golden brown and simply sweet. Mickey waffles do not disappoint.

The promotion released this morning offers the Quick Service Dining Plan for stays at Value and Moderate Resort Hotels and the “regular” Disney Dining Plan for stays at Deluxe Resort Hotels.  It is also worth mentioning that the dining plan has changed, and no longer includes desert with every meal, the offer is now 2 meals (either Quick Service or Full Service depending on your plan) and 2 snack credits per day.

There are a multitude of way to “do” Disney, but on the two extremes you have: 1. those who plan every moment of the day from attractions (order and timing), to dining, to resort downtime and 2. those who show up to “Disney World” (i.e. The Magic Kingdom), walk right up to Cinderella Castle, and expect to immediately be seated and dine with the princesses…with no advance planning…in July…over the 4th (if you are unfamiliar with the crowd calendars, this is one of the busiest times of the year).

The latter crowd tends to end up journeying right back down Main Street U.S.A., and into City Hall – (otherwise known as Guest Relations) demanding to know why they were blissfully unaware that the “castle” reservation is one of the most difficult to get, and absolutely must be made well in advance of your trip (read: 180 days ahead). This crowd generally has to step back, take a very deep breath, and change their entire vacation strategy – or get a strategy in the first place.

We fall somewhere in the middle of these two types.

180 days prior to the start of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, guests can begin booking advance dining reservations (also known as ADR’s). We have just passed our 180 day window for our September trip, and I have painstakingly planned, and re-planned our days to fit the restaurants where we would like to dine. I will continue to tweak our plan right up until our trip, as our plans tend to change around based on what the kiddos would like to do. Please remember, all changes or cancellations need to be completed 24 hours before the reservation to avoid a “no-show” fee.

Planning Disney Dining is like a delicate dance, perfectly balanced between the right choices (character, casual, or fine dining to name a few), and right times (trust me, that 9 p.m. ADR might seem ok months away from your trip; in reality, you don’t want your toddler eating dinner at 9 pm cranky and tired) for your family, with whatever ADR’s are available. Obviously, the earlier you book, the better the availability of both times, and restaurants.

Our strategy is  pretty simple: lots of food options (buffet) and entertainment (because I like to eat rather than entertain/argue with my children at meal times). We largely book character buffet meals, and though you have to time your trips to the buffet just right, (in order to not miss the circulating characters) this kills two birds with one stone: the kiddos get autographs and pictures and your whole traveling party gets a full

Chef Mickey’s Breakfast

tummy and some down time. I’m not usually a huge buffet fan, but Disney makes it so easy, entertaining, and convenient.

So, how does your family “do” Disney dining? I’d love to hear about your favorite Walt Disney World Resort ADR’s.

*Let me caveat all of this by saying: yes, it is possible (but highly unlikely) to get lucky and totally rack up on last minute ADR’s.

** While Disney does tend to release many promotions throughout the year, planning on getting a discount or special deal is never a good idea – they are not guaranteed and often very limited. Booking your stay with the intention of adding a promotion later tends to lead to aggravation and disappointment.

 

Crafting With the Kiddos: Glittered Easter Eggs

Yesterday in the Six Christies world was glitter project day. While I originally planned to work on other projects, I saw a bunch of plain ole everyday plastic Easter eggs sitting on my craft table left over from the post the other day: Tips For Hosting A Glow In The Dark Easter Egg Hunt.  It is common knowledge that glitter makes the boring better, so I grabbed my Mod Podge, and got to work. The result: sparkly, fun, and pretty Glittered Easter Eggs. I am not going to say this was a “clean” craft, but if you find yourself dying eggs in the next few days adding a few glittered eggs won’t add much mess. I minimized the mess by having Lil’ Bit help with some of the less messy aspects of this craft, and it worked out quite well. While high on the mess factor, this craft is low on the skill factor, and easy to boot.

Glittered Easter Eggs

  • Plastic Eggs
  • Mod Podge (I used matte)
  • Zip top sandwich bags (one for each color of glitter, for a quicker craft use one for each egg)
  • Glitter
  • A foam brush

    Glitter, plastic egg, foam brush, zip top bag, and Mod Podge

  1. Gather up some plastic Easter Eggs. You can do a bunch to fill a basket or just a few to add a bit of sparkle here and there.
  2. Find coordinating glitter colors for the eggs. You can use non-coordinating colors but it will take significantly more glitter to cover the egg.

    Coordinating the glitter and egg color will give the best results

    I used green eggs with green glitter, purple eggs with purple glitter, pink eggs with pink glitter, blue eggs with both blue and turquoise glitter, and yellow eggs with gold glitter.

  3. Put a little glitter in each bag, you don’t need much just a little “pillow” for the egg to land on so it doesn’t just stick to the bag.
  4. Working with one egg at a time, coat the outer surface with Mod Podge. You don’t want to over coat the egg nor do you want too light of a layer.
  5. Drop the egg in the glitter bag. Add a generous sprinkle of glitter to the bag. You will want to zip the bag closed with as much air inside as possible.

    Fill the bag with air, and shake, shake, shake.

  6. Shake the bag, this is a great “clean” part of the craft if you don’t want the kiddos coated in glitter. Once you are done shaking set the egg down in the bag and allow the egg to dry a bit. This can be anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours.
  7. Carefully remove the egg and set it down (I recommend on a piece of cardstock or cardboard) to dry.
  8. Once your eggs are dry, decorate as you see fit.

**I don’t recommend the eggs for play or hunts, the glitter will likely flake off if handled excessively. You could possibly seal them with Mod Podge for less flaking if you wanted to use them as prize eggs.

Voila’ Glittered Easter Eggs. Happy decorating!!

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