travel planning

SeaVenture Adds Upclose Undersea Marvels to Discovery Cove, SeaWorld


Discovery Cove’s SeaVenture is a walking tour of a beautiful undersea landscape created to provide a once in a lifetime memory. Don’t miss it.

While SeaWorld’s boutique water park opened its newest area, The Grand Reef, back in June, the much anticipated SeaVenture add-on excursion has only been running in soft-opening phase until now. They finally have enough divers and personnel trained to operate at full capacity and invited some of the local media out to experience it first hand. I was happy to be included in that bunch. It’s a good thing that they’ve added capacity because I can tell you that SeaVenture is an experience everyone will remember for the rest of their lives.


The walk includes special up close encounters, like this fish feeding.

Okay, there’s one caveat. If you’ve been scuba diving, then you can think about passing on SeaVenture. However, the people I’ve spoken with who have done both say that SeaVenture is still a great experience as you get to just be there without having to worry about time or oxygen or a 60 pound weight on your back. The folks at Discovery Cove really worked hard to make this a natural effortless experience for the participant and that is the big success.


The whole walk happens in this area of the Grand Reef. But it’s a full 20-25 minutes plus another 20 minutes prep-time.

Follow below the jump for a video I filmed while under water and more photos. Plus advice on how to book SeaVenture for yourself:

Read More »SeaVenture Adds Upclose Undersea Marvels to Discovery Cove, SeaWorld

Applications Now Accepted for 2012 Disney World Moms Panel

Studies have been very clear with the fact that not only do Moms control the household vacation budget, they make most of the decisions when it comes to where and when the next family vacation will be. So it only makes sense that Disney would tap into that valuable resource by appointing a panel of expert ‘Disney moms’ to help other moms make smarter decisions. Of course, this being Disney, they’re using the broadest definition of the word ‘Moms’ possible to also include Grandparents, siblings, and even dads.

The fifth annual Walt Disney World Moms Panel search opened today and for the first time in the panel’s history, the range of candidates has expanded to include Disneyland and runDisney specialists. Other expertise needed includes Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, and Adventures by Disney. The Moms Panel offers guests vacation insights on a variety of platforms including exclusive “How-To” videos from panelists and celebrities, dedicated Facebook content, personal Disney Parks Blog posts and in-park meet-ups.

“We started the Moms Panel in 2008 with 12 panelists, a simple website, and the goal of helping first-time visitors plan their perfect Walt Disney World vacation,” said Leanne Jakubowski, who oversees the program. “We are very excited to expand our search to include new specialty areas. It is important that the Moms Panel is made up of real guests and represents a diverse spectrum of thoughts and perspectives so we can offer honest, heartfelt and useful information to help people make their time with us magical.”

Below the jump is a quick video from a Disney Moms Panel participant and details on how to apply:

Read More »Applications Now Accepted for 2012 Disney World Moms Panel

How to eat on the cheap at Disneyland

Locals who visit Disneyland all the time, already know most of best places to buy affordable eats at the resort. But economy-minded vacationers might want to consult this list featuring a long menu of delicious items all for under $10. There’s lots more than popcorn, hot… Read More »How to eat on the cheap at Disneyland

Mousejunkies

Are you a Mousejunkie? There’s no shame in admitting it. If so, it’s likely you’ve lived much of the advice provided in the non-traditional Walt Disney World guidebook. But if you’re asking yourself, “Mousejunkie? What is that?” Or you still consider yourself a padawan on… Read More »Mousejunkies

Disneyland Hotel earns 4 Diamonds from AAA

For years, the Disneyland hotel has been the black sheep of the Disney owned hotels in Anaheim. It’s age and location left it the least desirable property of the three hotels. But the culmination of upgrades made over the last 5 years have finally paid off. AAA has bestowed its coveted 2012 Four Diamond award upon the landmark Disneyland Hotel making it the second property at the Disneyland Resort to secure such a high rating.

Only four percent of the 31,000 hotel properties AAA reviews achieve this enviable distinction. In fact, in order to become a five star resort you need to have a golf course and on-site spa. These are conditions Disneyland’s hotels can never meet. So four stars is really a great score.

“This is tremendous news, especially for the 1,000 Cast Members who work at the Disneyland Hotel and create magical experiences for our guests,” said Tony Bruno, vice president resort hotels and Downtown Disney. “The award underscores our continued investment in the guest experience and all our ongoing work, which has transformed the Disneyland Resort and Anaheim into Southern California’s world-class, multiday tourist destination.”

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa also is a AAA Four Diamond award winner and is home to yet another AAA Four Diamond recipient: the popular Napa Rose restaurant.

“North America’s AAA Diamond Rating System is a long-time trusted systematic method of rating lodgings and restaurants,” said the Auto Club’s Approved Accommodations Supervisor Patricia Marenco. “Southern California’s hotels and restaurants that earn the AAA Four Diamond award maintain a very high standard of service in their hotels and restaurants in order to continue pleasing their guests.”

Earlier this summer, the Disneyland Hotel marked a milestone in the property’s major “re-imagination” project with the opening of a new courtyard, restaurant, bar, pool and water play area.

Read More »Disneyland Hotel earns 4 Diamonds from AAA

Mickey’s Halloween Party and My Fear of Buyer’s Remorse

Every Fall, the Disney Parks transform to cater a recurring celebration called Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a nighttime event for little “boys and ghouls” to dress up and experience their favorite Park like they have never seen it before. The Parks seem to endure a… Read More »Mickey’s Halloween Party and My Fear of Buyer’s Remorse