Best Value-Added Disney Vacation Experiences – Episode 490

DISDads Podcast Episode 490 - Best Value-Added Disney Vacation Experiences with Host: Aaron Rittmaster and Panel: James Cameron, Brad Coates and Chad King
Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: James Cameron, Brad Coates, Chad King

The DISDads Podcast panel turns its attention this week to what might be collective referred to as “upcharge events” that are becoming increasingly common in connection with just about all Disney Destination vacations. We look at which of these value-added events are worth the extra cost and which just aren’t worth digging deeper into your pockets for.

Which is your favorite value-added Disney vacation experience? Which did you feel failed to give you your money’s worth? Tell us about them! Leave a comment here on the blog; Email us at podcast@disdads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d also really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes (If you didn’t enjoy the show, feel free to ignore that last link).

Our outro music is “Whiskey on the Mississippi” by Kevin MacLeod
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

The DISDads Podcast is sponsored by Fantastic Memories Travel, LLC, and its Mouse Master Travel group, which focuses on Disney Destination vacations.

DAD Show #151 – DDCC & Sea with Tim Hicks

Tim & Angie at La Cava del TequilaOn this week’s DAD Show, Tim Hicks offers yet another unique way to experience a DISDads Club Convention. We hear about traveling to DDCC with your spouse (but without the kids), and extending the vacation fun with a 4-Night Disney Cruise Line Bahamas cruise immediately after DDCC. Tim shares his impressions of DCL as a first-time cruiser, including discussions of cruise dining, ports, excursions and activities.

The DAD Show is sponsored by Kingdom Strollers, Orlando’s Premium Stroller and Crib Rental source.

Have you taken a Disney Cruise Line cruise? If not, why not? If you have, what were your favorite things about DCL? Have a trip report you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards; and check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes

Thank you to Mitch Furman for our intro and outro music.

#MSAwarenessMonthA couple of times during this podcast, the discussion included reference to Tim’s wife’s mobility challenges. It just so happens that March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. I encourage you to consider making a donation to the MS Society, helping fund research, programs and services for people with MS and their families. The image above links directly to the MS Society’s donation page – considering making your donation in honor of Tim’s wonderful wife and friend of the DISDads Angie!

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DAD Show #146 – Disney Fantasy Group Sailing with Josh Watters

Disney Fantasy Animator's PalateThis week, the DAD Show gets back to our bread and butter, and welcomes a new voice to the DISDads community. Josh Watters talks about sailing the Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy with an extended group of family and friends. While we covered pretty much every aspect of their cruise, Josh is a chef by trade. So we spent a little extra time on their dining experience, especially their dinner in Gusteau’s Room at Remy, and brunch at Palo. We also got to hear Josh’s thoughts on one of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ports, Tortola.

The DAD Show is sponsored by Kingdom Strollers, Orlando’s Premium Stroller and Crib Rental source.

Have you ever cruised with a larger group? We’d love to hear about it! Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards; and check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes

Thank you to Mitch Furman for our intro and outro music.

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“Wonder”ful times on Alaska Cruises with the Mouse

Graphic by Amilia Skyeby Kevin Bentley

My family and I have taken two Alaskan Cruises with Mickey. Both were end of May sailings, over Memorial Day. The first one was in 2011, which was also the first year that Disney sailed to Alaska. The second was in 2013. Both left from Vancouver, British Colombia. (Disney sailed from Seattle in 2012). The 2011 sailing was also our first Disney cruise. We live north of Seattle, so it was a natural choice for us as transportation to and from Vancouver was easy.

Our first stop was Vancouver. In 2011 we took AMTRAK up from Everett, WA, as the station is only a little ways from our house. We stayed two nights before the cruise in Vancouver at the Fairmont Waterfront. The first night we got in a little late, as we had taken the afternoon train up. The border crossing was easy, as we stopped at the border and Customs came on the train and walked down the aisle and looked at everyone’s papers. We went to the hotel and got settled and had dinner. The next day we explored the waterfront and Gastown area where we did some shopping and had dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory. One of the places we went was Canada Place, where the ship docks, and saw the Olympic Torch from the Calgary Winter Olympics. The next morning, my son and I went down to Canada Place and watched the Wonder arrive and dock. Then we walked back and got the rest of the family and boarded to start our cruise. In 2013, we drove up the night before and stayed at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites. We were able to park at the hotel for the duration of the cruise and the hotel provided a limo to the Wonder. We walked around the shopping center that was attached to the hotel and had dinner at a lovely restaurant.

Both times, after we were aboard, we ate lunch at Parrot Cay. Then we enjoyed the Sail Away Party and the first night’s show – “All Aboard! Let the Music Began!” Attire for the night was Cruise Casual, and the menu in the main dining rooms was Standard Rotational. That means that each restaurant had its own unique menu: Animator’s Palate-Show dinner, Parrot Cay-Island Dinner and Triton’s-French Dinner. At 2:30 p.m. there was a guided walking ship tour and at 10:30 p.m. there was Family Superstar Karaoke. There were also movies playing in the Buena Vista Theatre thoughout the week.

The next day was a Sea Day, as we sailed up the Inside Passage. One of the unique things about an Alaska cruise is that you have land on both sides of the ship for the most part as you sail along.

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