Christina Wood

For more travel planning articles by Chris, check out her Disney travel blog, Everything Walt Disney World. Chris is also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team and an authorized Disney travel planner with Pixie Vacations, and visits the parks about 55 days each year. To get free planning and assistance with your next Disney vacation, please call her at 919-889-5281 or email at [email protected] You may also fill out a quick Disney Vacation Quote form here.

Introducing Christina Wood, Disney Vacation Planning Partner For The Disney Blog

This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog.


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You may have noticed my articles popping up over here at the Disney Blog for a while now and I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce myself.  My name is Chris, and I write here and at my own blog, Everything Walt Disney World.  I’m also part of the Mouse Chat podcast team and I’m a travel agent with Pixie Vacations.  I spend about 55 days (and counting) a year in the parks, both in Walt Disney World and Disneyland and I’ve been fortunate to cover everything new that’s popped up over the last couple of years. In short, I have a little bit of a Disney obsession.

As a travel agent and a blogger, I walk the fine line between selling Disney and giving readers the most honest opinion possible about my experiences in the parks, resorts, and restaurants.  Fortunately, Disney makes this pretty easy: It’s a great product. When it’s not such a great product, I make sure my readers know. Hopefully some bean counter at Disney sees it and passes it on to someone who can make a positive change.

As a travel agent, I get two questions all the time: 1) How do I get your job and 2) what can you do for me?  I’m going to concentrate on the second one.  First, if you’re a Disney fan or even if you’re just planning your first trip and you don’t yet know if you’ll even like Disney (you probably will), go with an agent who specializes in Disney, known as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. You’ll want to look for the “Earmarked” designation which tells you that this agency sells mostly Disney and that its agents are all trained by Disney.  It doesn’t have to be a huge agency, or even one that’s that well-known, but find an agent who travels to Disney frequently, keeps up with changes and, just as importantly, with whom you connect.Read More »Introducing Christina Wood, Disney Vacation Planning Partner For The Disney Blog

Can You Really Cook in a DVC Kitchen?

This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog.


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Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resorts are Disney’s timeshare properties. They’re basically very nice condos attached to Disney deluxe properties and while booking priority is given to DVC owners, non-owners can also enjoy these properties if they book far enough in advance. These one, two and three bedroom properties feature multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, a washer and dryer, and full kitchens. The downside, of course, is the price. But the upside is all the comforts of home.

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Of course, not everyone thinks that having to cook on vacation is a great deal, but for those who want to cook or, for those that need to cook due to food allergies, having a kitchen can be a great bonus.  So what’s available in these kitchens? Obviously, they’re not as well equipped as your kitchen at home. You’ll find an electric range with a ceramic cooktop, a microwave, full-size refrigerator, toaster, and dishwasher.Read More »Can You Really Cook in a DVC Kitchen?

California Grill’s Old Favorites Get Updated

This post brought to you by Christina Wood of Pixie Vacations, the preferred Disney vacation travel planner of The Disney Blog.


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California Grill, which underwent a nine-month refurbishment last year, opened back up in the fall. You’ll now find shades of yellow, blue, orange and red, along with dark wood and nods to famed Imagineer Mary Blair.  The effect is both chic and comfortable at the same time. And of course, you’ll still enjoy that spectacular view.

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With an entirely new look, it’s not surprising that the menu has changed a bit as well.  While the menu has some incredible new additions (hello, banana fritters with salted caramel sauce, I’ll see you in two weeks),  I’m going to focus here on two standbys that guests have grown to love over the past few decades: The filet and the pork loin.
Read More »California Grill’s Old Favorites Get Updated

The Disney Magic’s Aquadunk.

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I’m sitting here in the Cove Café on the Disney Magic recovering from the Aquadunk, which is the newly refurbished Magic’s answer the the Aquaduck, the wild water coaster ride on Disney’s newest ships, the Fantasy and the Dream.  Disney just re-launched the Magic after a months-long refurbishment, adding this amazing water slide with a scary twist: The floor droops out and plunges you down the tube. The entire effect is breathtaking, but not so much so that you’ll not want to do it again. It’s a wonderful addition to this ship.

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We stayed on shore during our Cozumel day just to ride the Aquadunk as many times as possible, so we didn’t experience any waits, as most guests were exploring off the ship.  If you’re riding on a normal sea day, expect a wait, but it’s worth it.  You’ll go up several flights of stairs to reach the top then you’ll wait at a plexiglass gate.  Read More »The Disney Magic’s Aquadunk.

Fastpass+ and the Tiered Fastpass System.

This post brought to you by pixie-logo-line3, the preferred travel partner of The Disney Blog.


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Disney is currently trying out a “tiered” Fastpass+ system at Epcot. The idea behind it is simple, in that you’re limited as to how many major attractions you can choose a Fastpass for.  It works like this:

Choose one Fastpass from the following:

  • Character Spot
  • IllumiNations
  • Maelstrom
  • Soarin
  • Test Track

And then two Fastpasses from the rest:

  • Captain EO
  • Journey into Imagination
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission:  SPACE
  • Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

This is clearly a response to guests choosing all “e-ticket” rides for their three Fastpass selections and none being available for off-site guests.  It’s rumored (key word) that it will be implemented resort-wide during Christmas week, at the very least.  The good news is that if you already have Fastpasses chosen, you won’t be effected by this new change, at least during this initial period of testing.

Read More »Fastpass+ and the Tiered Fastpass System.

Double Dipping with Disney’s MagicBands.

We received this comment from Scott on the post “Part of Disney’s MagicBands Testing? Here’s Everything you Need to Know” and it seemed like a great idea to expound on this topic a little more: I am assuming that for now the Magic Band is not being… Read More »Double Dipping with Disney’s MagicBands.

Part of Disney’s MagicBands Testing? Here’s Everything you Need to Know.

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Disney is continuing to roll out MagicBands, the handy dandy alternative to your Key to the World Card, across property. While Disney originally planned to roll out the bands property-wide by the middle of this month, it now appears that testing will continue at least through November. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re going to Disney World between now and Christmas you’ll most likely use the bands, although you should monitor the situation. Using the bands isn’t complicated, but it requires you to take several steps before you travel. First things first, you’ll want to get set up online with Disney.

1.  Go to MyDisneyExperience.com and log into your account. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to create an account, which takes only a few minutes.

2. Once there, add your resort reservation.  This is your confirmation number and the lead guest’s last name.  You can customize each guest with a cute Disney-themed avatar at this time.  If you have a Disney package, your tickets will be automatically added. If you don’t have tickets on your package, you’ll have to have to add them manually. This can be a problem if you’re buying them at check-in, because you can’t choose fastpasses until you have a valid ticket.Read More »Part of Disney’s MagicBands Testing? Here’s Everything you Need to Know.