Disney’s Grand Floridian 2 Bedroom Villa

When my family vacationed in Walt Disney World in April, We did a split stay between two resorts. The first resort we stayed in for two nights was Disney’s Grand Floridian 2 bedroom villa. (PS be sure to check out the link to the video tour at the bottom of this post.)

Over the years we have stayed at the Grand many times, but this was our first experience with the villas.

Having all the extra space is so nice especially when traveling with a small child! My parents took the master, and the three of us had a second bedroom with two queens. However, more people could have fit as the living room sofa is also a bed and there was a trundle under the TV.

When you book a villa, you can choose a standard view which looks out over the back/parking lot, or a Bay Lake view. We lucked out and were upgraded to a Bay Lake view on this trip! We had beautiful sunrises, and spent a good amount of time on the balcony which was super long!

Here is a panoramic shot of our view. We could see from Space mountain all the way to the Poly and Spaceship Earth in the distance.

When you walk into the villa building, there were desks there with cast members available at certain hours to check you in, answer questions, and more. There were also bell hops. The lobby is Mary Poppins themed, and there was a Nespresso maker for our use as well which was a nice touch (although it was broken one of the two days we were there.)

Looking down into the lobby from our floor:

Other amenities of the villas aside from access to the pools and other Grand Floridian amenities/restaurants/etc. were grills outside near the parking lot, as well as a basketball court. We were right by the spa and gym, and a quick walk along the path to the Polynesian. We loved the central location.

Ok, moving on to the room. When you walk into the villa, there was an entryway. To the left was a hallway with a desk leading to our room and bathroom, to the right was a hallway going to the master (which you could also access off the living room) and in that hallway was the washer and dryer. Straight ahead was the kitchen and dining combo, then past that the living room and balcony. In the below photo you can see the “front door” to the back which is halfway open.

The kitchen had a large refrigerator, stove, microwave, sick, coffee pot, and dishwasher. We bring our own breakfast foods as well as bottled water, alcohol, and snacks and we save a ton of money this way! My mom even cooked Jambalaya at the house and brought it for us to eat the first night and not only was it delicious but let’s face it, WAY cheaper than any Disney restaurant!

Pro tip: if you are flying in from out of town you can have a grocery service deliver groceries to your villa!

As mentioned before, the master had two entrances, one off the front hall and one off the living room to the back right as shown in the photo above, just past the TV. Both bedrooms also had their own balcony access.

The master bedroom and closet were HUGE with plenty of room for luggage etc. Also, we had lots of room in the front hallway of our villa to put our stroller at night or when we weren’t using it.

The master bathroom was gigantic and had two sinks, a large soaking tub, and big shower. The mirrors also have TV’s in them!

On the other side of the villa was a built in hallway desk, and then the second bedroom with closet and bathroom. I love the way they set up the villa so that you can close off your bedroom door but whoever is sleeping in the living room still has access to the bathroom at night without having to go through or into a bedroom and potentially waking people up. In the below photo you can see the desk at the end of the hall. Turn left and after a few steps is the front door of the villa. In the below hallway, to the left was our closet, to the right was our bathroom, with separate doors for the shower and sink, then the toilet and a shower tub combo were in the next room.

Our mirror had a TV in it as well which we basically left on playing Disney music whenever we were getting ready and dressed to go somewhere.

We had our own door to the balcony as well.

We loved the layout and flow of the 2 bedroom villa, and would love to be able to stay here again! I was skeptical because the “regular” part of the Grand is kind of my “first love”, but we really enjoyed the space, decor, and everything else about the villa!

Be sure to check out a video room tour of our villa HERE.

I would love to help you plan your next trip to Disney World, free of charge! Email Heather@Travelwiththemagic.com for a quote.

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 6

In case you missed part 5, go back and read it here.

We woke up on Thursday morning and my dad had left at about 5:00 that morning to drive back to Tampa for work. We loaded up the cars and then met a friend of mine for breakfast. This was the only day I broke my fast early for a delicious breakfast. The weather was amazing so we sat outside of the quick service restaurant at the hotel. I had bananas foster french toast and an iced smores latte. Amazing!

After saying our goodbyes to my friend, we hit up the pool for one more swim before hitting the road to my parent’s house in Tampa. We had some guests in the pool. Mama and baby ducks!

The weather was so perfect, we stayed until about 11:30 and soaked up the last few moments of vacation.

We said sad goodbyes to Disney, and got to my parent’s in the early afternoon. We just hung out and then my dad grilled burgers that night. The next day, we took Emma Kate to the pool (like we hadn’t had enough pool time!)

Bobby and I also hit up the gym which felt great after all the food we ate in Disney.

EK and my mom made bunny cupcakes, and we grilled again for dinner.

I think my mom also took Emma Kate to the library somewhere in that day. Our plan for Saturday was to stay until lunch, then get on the road and drive halfway again, then the second half Sunday morning. But, we knew we had to wear Emma Kate out before getting in the car, so Saturday morning they took her to Bob Evan’s (tradition) and we went to the pool again.

I was so proud of my plan, because homegirl was passed out before we even got to the interstate.

The drive was pretty uneventful for 6 hours, and we enjoyed a dinner at Cracker Barrel and an early bedtime before getting up and driving back home Sunday morning.

That’s it my friends! Our wild and crazy week in Florida has come to an end. We had an amazing time and I loved staying in new places and trying new things. I’m ready to plan my next trip so I can go back.

Don’t forget, I can help you plan your next trip! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote!

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 5

If you missed part 4, you can check it out here first!

We left off last time with our day at Hollywood Studios and a fun evening at Splitsville. The next day was our last full day (HOW does it go by so fast?!?) and we headed to EPCOT that morning. We actually arrived before it opened and had to wait for a bit to get in, but we headed straight for Anna and Elsa and only waited about ten minutes!

Look at the concentration in her face below haha!

After the meet and greet, we roda Frozen Ever After. I needed coffee, so Bobby took EK to the play area and we all met up after getting coffee.

It was so nice to sit in the shade while she played. I love the Flower and Garden festival!

We were getting pretty hungry, and decided to see if we could walk up at Via Napoli. We stopped and looked at pretty topiaries along the way.

Trying to entertain a four year old while you wait for a table is fun.

The restaurant was able to take us, and we split a huge pizza which was delicious.

We headed back towards Future World after this, but stopped for some photos.

We then rode Soarin, and then decided to head back to the hotel to hit the pool.

This is blurry because it’s a screen grab from a video, but yes I went down the slide!

Mom and dad had dinner reservations at Citrico’s, so we decided to take Emma Kate back to Epcot. Why not? It was our last night.

We walked around World Showcase and Bobby got some snacks from some of the booths. We got to America and grabbed food. Just as we sat down outside to eat, John Michael Montgomery took the stage! So we got to listen to his concert while we ate. How fun!

We decided to go ride Soarin’ again, and then did the Nemo ride.

We were pretty wiped from all the walking and decided to head back to the hotel. I was glad we went back to EPCOT one last time though!

I would love to help you book your next Disney adventure! It costs you nothing extra for my help. Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details.

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 4

If you missed parts 1-3 go here for the link!

After a long and fun day at Magic Kingdom, we slept well and were ready to hit up Hollywood Studios in the morning. Our plan was to go straight to Toy Story Land (just like everyone else.)

We had fastpasses for Alien Swirling Saucers, which is Emma Kate’s FAVORITE ride. So our hope was to do standby while it was short and then use the Fastpasses.

We basically walked onto the ride in standby, then rode it again with our fastpasses. I wasn’t kidding about how much she loves it. Look at that face!

We also had to show off our Toy Story Land magic bands from a media event last year before taking some wall photos.

While we were taking photos, the green army men arrived. They do an adorable show over by the bathrooms, so I highly recommend checking it out if you see them. Emma Kate got to be in it and was so proud!

Next we took some photos with Goofy, and Bobby had to go check out this from Galaxy’s Edge of course.

Next, my dad and Bobby used fastpasses for Star Tours while mom, EK and I went and said hey to Olaf.

We were pretty hungry after that, so we waited a few minutes until Backlot Express opened and grabbed some lunch. We were pretty tired but wanted to do one more thing, so we took Emma Kate to the Indiana Jones show for the first time. Little did we know Bobby would end up being IN the show!

He did great, and I actually have some really funny videos I need to upload. Emma Kate wasn’t a fan of the noise, but it was a fun experience for all!

We decided to go back to the hotel, take a rest, and then hit up the pool before dinner at Disney Springs.

Emma Kate was SO tired I was sure she was going to nap….NOPE! I worked while everyone else napped and she just laid in the bed NOT SLEEPING. This kid is the Energizer bunny. We got changed and went to the pool which was pretty quiet because it had just rained.

We went back up to the room to show and change again. We had a media visit lined up at Splitsville for the early evening. Last summer we got to eat and Bowl at Splitsville during the sports festival event I attended, but Emma Kate didn’t remember doing it, and my parents hadn’t been in about 5 years, so it was such a nice treat for them to invite us to come eat and bowl.

We had AMAZING food and drinks. This is not just your regular bowling alley food. Bobby said the sushi was phenomenal, and I loved all the yummy drinks and we even had a huge dessert to share.

Keep in mind while it is super fun to eat and bowl at the same time, you don’t have to bowl, you can just go there to eat!

They have bumpers for the kids and even a fun little device to help them “bowl.”

Emma Kate had an absolute blast bowling and kept trying to steal out turns.

We tried to get a family selfie at the end but it didn’t come out very well.

This was definitely one of the top highlights of the trip, and I can’t wait to go back. Thanks so much for having us Splitsville!

Our plan was to walk around after dinner, but the sky was VERY dark so we decided to go back to the parking garage, and as soon as we did, the heavens let loose and it POURED on everyone at Disney Springs, so I’m glad we opted to go back to the hotel!

We still have one more full day to go, Epcot! Check back later for more.

I would love to help you plan your next Disney adventure, email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 2

In case you missed part 1, you can go back and read it here.

We left off at the end of our arrival day. When we planned this trip, we decided to do 3 days of parks. Since we had 4 full days, that meant one day would be a day at the resort. Since the parks are typically less crowded during the week (and it was a runDisney weekend to boot), we decided Sunday would be our “chill day.”

We got up and the family ate pancakes (I was fasting still!) And Bobby went to get us chairs at the pool. Mom cleaned up and Dad, Emma Kate and I ran over to Sugar Loaf to say hello to a cast member friend of mine. We had a nice chat and headed back to the pool with mimosas.

We had front row chairs, which was great for taking turns in the pool with Emma Kate and keeping an eye on her when she went down the slide. She was having a blast.

Let me tell you, this girl can play HARD.

We got to the pool a little after 9:00, and girlfriend didn’t stop until we MADE her get out at 1:30. When it was lunch time, my mom and I walked to the Polynesian (the weather was amazing yall) and we picked up lunch and brought it back and ate at our chairs.

The walk was really nice and the food was delicious as always.

My mom and dad took Emma Kate up to the room and Bobby and I stayed about 30 minutes longer until I had had enough (it was warming up and my spot wasn’t covered by the umbrella anymore and I could feel myself frying.) So everyone took naps (the only time the whole trip EK napped, unfortunately.)

After nap, we hung out on the balcony enjoying the weather and some snacks.

Bobby and I had reservations for Narcoossess that evening, so Emma Kate and I put on some mommy and me dresses for a little photo shoot before dinner.

It was really nice having dinner at our resort and just walking over! As we walked a cast member saw us and gave us a ride on his golf cart.

I always try to be honest with yall, and I must admit we were super disappointed with our dinner. We used to LOVE Narcoossess, but prices have gone way up, and they must have gotten a new chef because the fillet I know and love tasted WAY different and had different sauces etc. It was COVERED in pepper and it was overpowering and just tasted like I was eating forkfuls of it. It was also overcooked which was a bummer. Normally they butterfly it for me and didn’t this time, maybe that’s why it was overcooked?

My drink was delicious (chocolate martini), and dessert was good. But for the price, the portions are small (Bobby was hungry after) and we won’t be back for a while. We love Citrico’s too, so we will probbaly go there next time or California Grill.

After dinner we walked around a bit and went and sat by the marina.

We went back to the room and changed, and all headed downstairs for the movie under the stars. This was our first time participating, and thought it was a nice touch that they gave out popcorn.

We left halfway through the movie (we have Monsters Inc. and Emma Kate was getting bored) to go watch the fireworks from the marina. It was pretty crowded and we didn’t stay the whole time (my child has the attention span of a flea.)

As we walked back to the villas, we realized the place where you roast marshmallows had an amazing view of the fireworks! This is our plan next time!

It was a great day just relaxing and not having to rush off to a park. I highly recommend doing a day like this if you can!

However the crazy was just about to start for us, as the next day we were headed to Magic Kingdom! Stay tuned for more.

Would you like a free no obligation Disney vacation quote? Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 1

We are back from a wonderful Disney vacation, and I can’t wait to share all the fun we had in Florida. I’m going to break this up into parts, but try and get them all up quickly before I forget what all we did! I will link all the parts here once I am done.

Friday April 5th we left after lunch to drive halfway to Disney. We stopped north of Destin just off the interstate and were all too excited to sleep!

We got on the road the next morning for the 6 hour drive to Orlando. We arrived right at 4:00 at the Grand Floridian villas, and my parents were already there and had checked into the room. We were on the top floor and had an amazing view of Bay Lake! I will post a few photos here but plan to do a whole other post just about the villas.

The two bedroom villas are gorgeous, and I loved how light and airy they were. We spent a good amount of time on the balcony just enjoying the view. I posted room tours on my IGTV channel (@HeathersLG) if you want to check them out!

As soon as we got unloaded into the villa, we changed and headed to the pool. Emma Kate was so excited, so we went straight to the splash pad.

She loved the giant bucket of water that dumped out every couple of minutes and would just sit in the water waiting for it.

After a couple hours, we went to leave and saw they were roasting marshmallows, so obviously we had to do that!

My mom had made jambalaya at home the night before so we had that up in the villa. It was nice to not have to go anywhere or get dressed for a restaurant on arrival day. It allowed for more pool time and just relaxing and hanging out.

After we ate, we went for a walk around the hotel grounds, and into the lobby to see the beautiful Easter egg display they do every year. I can’t believe these are chocolate, they are so intricate it’s amazing.

We were all pretty wiped out after that, and decided to go to bed. We had a fun day of relaxing at the pool planned for the next day!

I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation! It’s free for me to help you! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details.

Emma Kate: 4.5 Years Old

We now have a four and a half year old on our hands!

It just amazes me how fast time is flying. I saw pictures on Timehop from her 3.5 birthday cake and it seems like we were just making and eating it. Also didn’t we just celebrate her fourth birthday in Disney? A lot has changed in 6 months, as our family has been in a bit of an upheaval with moving schools and houses! There is more change coming as we are moving houses (from our rental) into one we are buying this weekend, and then this summer she will go to summer camp at a new school and then start there full time in the fall in the K4 class. We are excited!

I am not sure how tall she is or how much she weighs, but based on how her clothes and shoes fit she is definitely growing! We are in a size 12 shoe, and wear 5T and 6. She is head and shoulders above everyone in her class (she is in a K3 class because she misses the cutoff by 3 weeks in September.)

She says the funniest things, and I keep a note in my phone of her funny sayings so I can always look back on them. She is SUPER clever, way too smart for her own good, and I could tell you some stories! She uses really big words that I didn’t know she knew like “disrespectful” and despicable” and “neosporin” (we have a lot of boo boos in our house!)

Her mind is a steel trap and she forgets nothing. Last April when she went to the ER she got a purple popsicle and a Jasmine sticker and to this day remembers those details.

She never ever meets a stranger and talks to and hugs everyone, and I mean EVERYONE. So if you come up to us be prepared for a hug and to hear her entire life story. We say she is going to be a politician or a Walmart greeter when she grows up because she loves and chats with anyone, no matter how old, young, etc. She just loves people. There has been a huge learning curve for this mama who was the most shy child ever and never talked to anyone, especially not strangers. Meanwhile, Emma Kate was inviting the old ladies she met at a restaurant over for a sleepover.

Emma Kate hasn’t napped consistently since she was 3, and I can count on one hand the number of times she has napped in the last 6 months. Homegirl just does. not. get. tired. She goes to bed at 7:45/8:00 and sleeps until 6:15. Thankfully, our ok to wake alarm clock has worked well for her and she will get up and go into the living room on her own and play or play games etc. on her iPad.

Emma Kate loves her family, especially all the cousins that are here now that she gets to play with. She also loves her “sister” (Bella the dog) even though the feeling usually isn’t mutual. We let EK feed Bella and give her treats and Bella is coming around and does much better with her than she used to.

Emma Kate still loves princesses, wearing bows and dresses, and being a girly girl. However she can climb trees and play in the mud with the boys too.

She hates injustice, and does NOT like to lose. Playing board games with her or any games really is difficult because she gets very angry when she loses. We definitely have a future competitor on our hands. When another child is crying she always wants to make sure they are ok, and she loves to mother and help smaller kids on the playground and at school. She REALLY loves babies.

She still loves food, and it’s a good bribery tool. She loves cupcakes and candy of course, and also fruit, ham, pork, cheese, fruit snacks, yogurt, larabars, mac and cheese, and more candy.

Some memorable moments from the past 6 months would be seeing “snow”, going on her first Disney cruise, moving to a new school, and getting her first bike.

We love our super sweet, smart, funny, Disney loving 4.5 year old, and can’t believe in 6 months she will be FIVE! She says she will take care of me when I am old and it seems like that is happening way quicker than I ever imagined!

Celebrate National Reading Month + Sweepstakes

This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Did you know that March is National Reading Month? I didn’t until the other day! Emma Kate can’t read quite yet, but we are still participating by using our Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet and the plethora of Audible books she can listen to! (Read on to enter to win one (1) of 10 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets!)

The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet can help aid your children in cultivating their love for reading with so many fun titles to explore! You can also access educational games that will help teach your kids how to read.

Here are some of Emma Kate’s favorite books available in Amazon FreeTime Unlimited:

  • A Day with Caillou – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty – Freetime Unlimited Version
  • Disney Buddies: ABCs
  • Elmo Loves 123s – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • PINKFONG Dino World – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Teach Your Monster to Read – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Toca Lab – FreeTime Unlimited Edition
  • Wonster Words ABC Phonics – FreeTime Unlimited Edition

The Fire Kids Edition Tablets are the #1 kids’ tablets in the U.S. and come with a kid-proof case and a 2-year guarantee. You can get a replacement no questions asked. Each one comes with a one year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which gives you and your child access to over 30,000 books, videos, audible books, apps, and games. There are also Spanish language books, plus thousands of kid-friendly websites and web videos.

You can have peace of mind using the Parental Control settings in FreeTime Unlimited, where parents can set time limits, change age filters, enable/disable web browser access, and you can even choose whether to allow in-app purchasing. Parents can also use Parent Dashboard to review the digital content their kids are using in FreeTime, determine how to manage time limits and educational goals, and remotely adjust their child’s FreeTime settings. I love helping Emma Kate set educational goals on her tablet. You can also see how much time your child is spending reading each day and see what books they are reading and listening to!

Discussion Cards offer parents a “family book club” approach with summaries and sample questions based on the books, videos, Audible books, educational apps and websites that are viewed within Amazon FreeTime. This could be a fun time to have a “game” where your child answers questions about the books they are reading.

You can also set up “Learn First” settings to encourage learning before play. These can be set up in the FreeTime settings on your child’s tablet, or remotely via Parent Dashboard. This way your kids can still have fun playing games, but after they have done their educational time with books or audible stories.

Also, please note parents don’t have to have a Fire Kids Edition tablet in order to access Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. The FreeTime Unlimited app is also available for download on iOS and Android! Also, once parents sign-up for Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, that very same subscription can be used on any compatible device including Fire tablets, Fire Kids Edition tablets, compatible Android and iOS phones and tablets, and compatible Echo devices, including Echo Dot for Kids. There are so many options!

Now, I would like to challenge you to participate in National Reading Month by completing a social activation below, and those readers who pledge their participation will be entered in to win one (1) of 10 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets! There will be ten winners in total! Just check out the link below.

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and Amazon will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes of 10 Winners.

Amazon Fire Kids Edition Sweepstakes

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Get to reading!

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 5

Check out part 4 if you missed that one then come back here!

The next day we woke up in Nassau. We had no plans to get off the ship, and wanted to take advantage of having less people on board to hang out and relax.

Unfortunately it was gloomy and chilly, so we didn’t make it to the pool. I was starting to think the bad weather was just following us around everywhere we went at this point.

However, we were parked next to the Disney Dream which was kind of cool. We did lots of waving at other people on the Dream and I secretly told EK we would take her on that ship next.

We decided to take Emma Kate to her first ever “big girl movie” in the movie theater that day. The new Wreck it Ralph movie was out, and she was so excited to eat her popcorn and watch the movie. I love that the price of the movies is included in the cruise price! See as many as you want!

She loved it, and did really well! I was afraid she would talk and ask questions nonstop (like sh does at home, omg) but she sat so still and did awesome.

We had lunch then brought her to the kids club. Once again I don’t remember exactly what we did, but Bobby probably went to the gym and I probably read a book. We are SUCH exciting cruisers.

We got dressed for dinner which was in Animator’s Palate again. It was the night of the drawings and the show which is always fun!

I mean, how cute is this kid?

After dinner, we had a delicious surprise from the pastry chef in our room! Emma Kate went crazy over them!

We then took Emma Kate to the kids club and explored the ship again.

It’s so nice and quiet during second dinner when the early diners are at the show. We felt like we had the ship to ourselves! Then it was Elf, one more time (starting to dislike the movie at this point!) and then bed. We still had two sea days of fun and adventure left!

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 2

In case you missed part 1, catch up here before reading below!

We woke up the next morning ready for an awesome day at sea. First up, we had the Disney Jr. character breakfast.

Pro tip: Spots for this free but ticketed event fill up fast. However, they hold back some spots, so go to guest services as soon as you get on board to try to snag tickets.

Breakfast was in Animator’s, and we were seated right away and promptly given napkin hats.

I will say the breakfast portions were on the smaller side, so if you like a big breakfast I suggest ordering multiple items like Bobby did. However, the characters were fun! This was the first time we let Emma Kate use an autograph book, and she had a blast with it.

She was so excited to see Vamparina!

After breakfast, we saw Minnie Mouse was taking photos so we did that. The line was really short!

We also took a few pictures in the lobby and Emma Kate and I danced on “stage”.

Emma Kate was asking to go to the kids club, so off she went and Bobby and I walked around the ship taking some photos. The sun is deceptive, it was windy and pretty chilly!

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. We got EK out of the club for lunch (we knew she wouldn’t eat enough or at all if we didn’t make her) and then brought her back. Bobby and I went to the gym and i’m pretty sure we all took a nap that day (the ONLY day she napped!) and then it was off to dinner for formal night. Emma Kate wore her Rapunzel dress, and we stopped for a quick dance party at Preludes before heading to Tiana’s Place.

I LOVED Tiana’s place. I know I am biased being a New Orleans native and all, but it was so fun with the music and dancing and had such an adorable atmosphere. Kudos on this one Disney!

We got to get up and dance, watch awesome musicians, and eat delicious food!

After dinner, Emma Kate was begging to go play in the club again (ok ok if you twist my arm, kid) so we dropped her off and Bobby and I walked around on the pool deck and started what would be our nightly tradition of hanging out in Cove Cafe and getting a snack.

Pro tip: In the evenings they had delicious cheese and crackers (like the kind from Palo) for free. So we would get a snack and sit in the quiet and relax.

They also had some seasonal coffee drinks for an extra charge.

We picked Emma Kate up around 9:00, watched Elf on TV for the 14th time so far, and went to sleep. More coming up soon!

If you would like help booking your next Disney cruise, let me know! heather@travelwiththemagic.com