Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekly DDL Post

CAUTION: This Week's Post on the Disney Driven Life may make you hungry! Check it out at


Thursday, January 21, 2010

VPC: The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2010

The very first book that I got when I knew Chris and I would be planning a Walt Disney World vacation was the Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2010 by Steven Barrett. I have gotten and reviewed Steve’s latest Hidden Mickeys Guide (which will be coming on my trip of course) but this was my first time with a vacation planner book.

The beginning of the book is all about what to do to get to Walt Disney World, where to stay, tickets to buy, how to budget and so much more! There is a huge list of important phone numbers on property and a list of packing suggestions. Barrett has also brief synopses of the hotels on property and in the section saying where to eat, he has a list of the features at each restaurant, a few suggested ones for each park and a list of the characters at the character meals, but not a large description of the eateries.

After going through all of this, we get to the “Meat and Potatoes” of the book: The Parks. For each of the four parks, Barrett has described and rated every attraction. After the attraction descriptions, he has a set of lists:
  • Attractions with a Minimal Wait (Usually)
  • Attractions that May Frighten Children
  • Least Crowded Restrooms, resting places
  • Especially Attractive at Night
  • And a small list of Hidden Mickeys (of course, I mean, it is Steve Barrett)
He then gives tips on entering each park,navigating the park, and a large list of touring plans. He has plans for adults and teens, families with children, seniors, for Extra Magic Hour (EMH) days, Non- EMH days, for a one day visit and even for a 2 day visit. These touring plans are incredibly thorough and cover a lot.

After the parks, there is a chapter on Downtown Disney and the Waterparks, which give a brief description of the two waterparks and the three areas of Downtown Disney. The final chapter is a very long list of lots of little extras and surprises to add or look for on your Walt Disney World vacation for some extra magic. The end of the book has a little “Where in the World” game where you have to identify the pictures with their locations in Walt Disney World.

If you are looking for a book with a lot of information on eateries and hotels, this is not your book. This book’s main purpose is to help you see the most in the parks that you can. The book is all black and white, so the few pictures and maps in the book are not in color. Those are really my only problems with the book…and they really aren’t even problems!

I think this is an excellent book for first time planners who are not very familiar with the parks. The touring plans will really help you see a lot! My favorite part was the end of the book, where Barrett has the list of things to do and see extra in the World. This gave Chris and I some great ideas of things to do on our trip!

To purchase The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2010, visit your local bookstore, bookstores online or on Make sure to check out all of Steve Barrett’s books, including Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets, which is in its 4th edition. See my blog post on Hidden Mickeys by clicking here.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly DDL Post

This week's post on the Disney Driven Life takes us to Hollywood Studios and the rumors circulating around a certain attraction closure. Is this just a routine closure or is something more Monsterous in size taking place?? To find out what attraction I'm talking about and all of the crazy rumors, read my weekly post at


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vacation Planning Critiques

People use countless numbers of resources when booking a trip to Walt Disney World. I am no different. My boyfriend and I both are huge planners and love to look up information for our trip. Since we are in the middle of planning a trip of our own, I thought I would examine resources that can be used to plan and organize and see how helpful they are in planning a WDW vacation.

In the new segment, Vacation Planning Critique (VPC), I will look at books that I have used to research information for our trip. I will also be looking at websites that can be used for planning and ones with an interactive element to it.

I have many books and sites that I am going to be talking about, but if there is something that you would like me to research specifically, just leave me a comment here on the page or send me an email at and I would be more than happy to look into it. The more planning tools the better!


WDW Trip Update

Finally can write this Trip update!

With 146 days until Chris and I head to Walt Disney World and the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we are slowly getting all of our info together. Our ADR's have been made and we have a basic plan of what we want to do each day! Here's our plan so far:

Friday June 11th
- Arrive in the morning
-Hollywood Studios
-ABC Commissary for Dinner
- Fantasmic
-Evening EMH at Magic Kingdom

Saturday June 12th
- Animal Kingdom (7am EMH)
- Picnic in the Park for Lunch (if its still around)
- Hotel in the afternoon
- Go to Downtown Disney
- Cap'n Jacks 6:30
- La Nouba 9:00

Sunday June 13th
- Epcot (8am EMH)
- San Angel 6:00
- Illuminations at 9
- Magic Kingdom EMH

Monday June 14th
- Typhoon Lagoon
- Boma 6:05
(Possibility of a Live Chat with friends at, but more info to come on that)
- Night Vision Goggles at night

Tuesday June 15th
- Magic Kingdom
- Crystal Palace Breakfast 8:05
- Ohana Dinner 8:30
- Wishes at 10 from Poly Beach

Wednesday June 16th
- Blizzard Beach
- Winter Summerland Mini Golf
- Hotel in the Afternoon
- Downtown Disney at Night
- T-rex Cafe 6:00
- DisneyQuest

Thursday June 17th
- Epcot
- Chef Mickey 5:30 (take monorail back and forth for transport)
- Back for Illuminations at 9

Friday June 18th (Chris' Birthday)
- Hollywood Studios (8am EMH)
- 50's Prime Time lunch 12:05
- Hotel to change
- California Grill 9:00
- Magic Kingdom EMH

Saturday June 19th
- Animal Kingdom/Resort in the morning
- Leave in the afternoon/evening

That is our plan so far. It may be tweaked with the possible addition of wanting to see Spectromagic one night along with the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party, but we will have to see about those. Feel free to let us know what you think and if you have any suggestions for us!

Also, keep your eyes here because I will soon start reviewing the tools I am using to plan this trip, including books and handy websites.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Expectations of the The True Disney Fan

Here we are, a new year starting and I just thought I would share some of the ideas and future posts you can be looking fore here on The True Disney Fan.

  • The Disucator: You can definitely expect the Disucator to have a few more lesson ideas, including an idea for a year-round bulletin board and montly writing samples!
  • School News: This semester of school I have my honors class, where I have to write a research paper on a topic of my choice. It is not completely narrowed down yet, but I know it will be Disney related, so I will write now and again about that.
  • Trip Planning: With Chris and my Disney trip a mere 5 months away, we have lots of planning to do! I will be posting occasional trip planning blogs but along with those, I will be reviewing a lot of different planning books and websites and letting you know what the book/site is about and how helpful it is in planning a Disney vacation. Look for those reviews to start very soon!
These are just some of the planned posts I will be doing, but this isnt by far close to all I will be writing about! You never know what you will see here, so make sure to check back frequently! I will have random polls on the side and I will always be updating the Pin Pictures and the awesome Disney Haiku's from Mouse of Zen!

If you have anything you would like to see me write about here, just leave me a comment with the idea or you can email me at


Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekly DDL Post

We are slowly getting things back to normal here at The True Disney Fan and with that comes the weekly post from the Disney Drivel Life site! This week's post, coincidentally is about how things are anything but normal in the Magic Kingdom, especially near the area of Fantasyland! Possible sightings of the beginning of the highly anticipated overhaul! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Movie Review: Princess and the Frog

Disney's newest animated film, Princess and the Frog, was advertised for months. Hype for this movie has been huge and that is largely because it is the return to hand drawn animation, something that has been gone from the Disney Company for years. Many people were anxious to see how the newest movie about the newest princess would turn out. So the big question is: Did it live up to the hype?

In my opinion, yep! The movie was a cute and fun, it seemed to go by fast and the music is so fun to listen to and pretty memorable. They took a different approach with Tiana as a princess that I really liked. They made her flawed in a way, they did not show her as perfect and did not paint her as the goo goo eyed damsel in distress. The goofball prince actually realizes what he has to do even before Tiana does, which I found very interesting. The show had different twists and turns that I enjoyed and, like any Disney movie, had those few parts that got you a little weepy eyed.

The hand drawn animation is of the greatest quality, just as the animation was years ago! Disney has definitely not lost their touch when it comes to the hand drawings! It just made it so fun to watch!

I went and saw it with my boyfriend Chris, another huge Disney lover, and we were enjoying picking out the bits and pieces that we recognized from other Disney films. There seemed to be tributes to almost all, if not all of the major Disney princess films, along with other little tributes. I know we did not find all of them, just another reason to watch the movie again!

The villain, Dr. Facilier, also known as the Shadowman, is up there in the creepyness! Chris actually said he reminded him of Jafar (coincidentally, just as he said that, Facilier's shadow turned into a snake, which was pretty cool). He works with voodoo and shadows, conjuring evil spells and spirits from his "Friends on the Other Side".

So overall, I find this to be a cute film that I would recommend to the whole family. I will warn that if you have someone in your family that is afraid of shadows, maybe even the dark, I would be wary and warn them about the Shadowman, he has minions that may really scare them. Otherwise, this is a pretty good film.

Then again, this is only my analysis and opinion. I have heard others who think the opposite about the movie. If you have seen it, let me know your opinion! Write it in the comment box on the bottom of this post. All I ask is that you do not post any spoilers, we do not want to ruin the movie for any other readers who have not seen it yet.

Wonderful New Years Surprise

You may have noticed that I haven't updated in a few days, quite the opposite of my plans going into the new year. The only reason I have not updated is because I was greeted with the most wonderful surprise on the first of the year.

After watching the Philadelphia Mummers parade, my mom and sis went shopping and told me they would call my dad and I when they wanted to meet for dinner. After waiting a long time, they finally called and told us to meet them at 8 at a steakhouse nearby. 8 is a very late time for my family to eat and I found it kind of odd, but I just went with it because I was hungry and tired. We got there and sat down at a table with 5 seats, I was told my aunt was coming with us to eat, but she wasn't there yet. The waitress comes up to take our orders and then I hear a voice say "excuse me, is this seat taken". I look up and after what I was told was a "WTF" face, I almost scream at seeing Chris Reid standing there! He flew all the way from Winnipeg to surprise me! I was so so excited!

Chris was here from the 1st to today, the 6th. He got here late on the 1st because of a bunch of flight delays. On the 2nd, we went up to the King of Prussia mall to walk around and showed him what Ikea was because his home town is getting one soon. The 3rd was spent in Lancaster Pennsylvania, where we toured an Amish house, did some shopping and went through a train museum! That night we had our first movie date and saw Princess and the Frog (look for a review on that soon). Chris really wanted to go to New York City again, but we weren't able to get tickets for a show or anything due to the time limit, so instead we spent the day in Philadelphia, where Chris saw the Liberty Bell, the LOVE sign, the Art Museum (where he ran up the stairs like Rocky) and Eastern State Penitentiary. That night was spent at Longwood Gardens, which has some beautiful Christmas displays. We spent our last day together just watching movies, reading up on some Disney information and just relaxing together before he had to leave. I was even able to have him as a guest on the Sorcom Review that I host on Sorcerer Radio every Tuesday, which was so much fun!

He is flying back home now, I will really miss him but we had so much fun and in just 156 days, we will be in Disney together! There will be lots more on that trip posted here too! Just thought I would share my wonderful surprise with you all and I wanted to thank Chris for a great start to the New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year Everyone!!

I hope this year brings you all happiness!! This year is so full of promise! Lets make 2010 a year to remember!