One if by Land

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In a little over a week I’ll be heading back to Walt Disney World for a few days of fun on land before I start my journey on my very first cruise!  I wanted to tell our readers all about my exciting plans for the trip.  However, there will be so much going on with my few days at WDW and then five days at sea I decided to divide and conquer.  This week I’ll discuss the land portion of my adventure and next week I’ll talk about my preparations for my time aboard the Dream.  So without further ado, let’s get to the first segment of my journey.

My friend, Doug, and I will be spending our first night using his DVC points at the Boardwalk Villas.  I love the Boardwalk so I’m thrilled to spend an evening here.  The next day we’ll transfer over to the Beach Club for a couple nights before heading for the Dream.  The Beach Club is one of the resorts remaining on my list of places to stay so it will be great to experience it.  There are several amenities at this resort to be excited about.  I’m really hoping it will be warm enough to visit the famous pool shared by the Yacht and Beach Clubs, Stormalong Bay.  However, the main attraction at this resort is its proximity to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance.  Since Epcot is my favorite park I love being able to take a short walk between my room and the park.

When you say you are going to Disney World people always want to know where you are going to stay.  After that detail is discussed, the next question is where are you going to eat?  On this trip I’m excited to dine at the California Grill with a small group of friends to celebrate a few birthdays among us.  I’ll also be grabbing a pint and some dinner at the Rose and Crown one night.  I’m sure my friends and I will enjoy breakfast at the Cape May Cafe as well.  Characters dressed in their beach finery will join us for our buffet breakfast.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed my last character dining experience, so I look forward to giving the Cape May Cafe a try.

One of the highlights of the land portion of my trip is sure to be the Wild Africa Trek.  A group of my friends and I will be heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at 8:30 Saturday morning to take part in this new backstage tour.  I’ve heard great things from the folks who have already participated so I can’t wait to see it for myself!  From what I hear I’ll get an opportunity to get a closer look at many of the animals on the safari along with several action packed adventures.  I’ll be sure to write all about my experience when I head home!

Something I’m especially excited about is our meet!  Come join us as we chat with readers and enjoy the Hall of Presidents.  Several touringplans team members will be on hand to chat with readers before heading inside to take in the show.  I have fond affection for this attraction so I’m really looking forward to sharing it with readers!  If you will be in the Magic Kingdom on February 25th come on by to meet some of your fellow Disney fans!

There are miscellaneous items about this trip as well.  For starters, I’ll be celebrating my birthday!  This will be my first time wandering around the parks with a birthday button.  While it won’t actually be my birthday during my trip, it’s close enough and I intend to do it up.  Also, I’ll be switching up my usual laid back approach to the parks in favor of rope drop and a touring plan for the first part of my day at the Magic Kingdom (MK) on Friday.  We’ll have my friend along who has yet to experience many of the attractions MK  so we thought a touring plan would be the best way to do it.  We are especially leaning this way since it will be during the busy President’s Day week so crowds will be heavy.  I’m sure our day of touring will be a great success, and I’ll be sure to report back on our venture.

On Sunday morning I’ll get up early to enjoy the Cape May Cafe character breakfast with some land lubbing friends before my cruise roommates and I take off for the Dream.  So I’ll leave it there for now and pick back up next week to discuss my first cruise!  Stay tuned!

I can’t wait to see so many friends and meet some new ones on this upcoming trip!  Will you be in town at the same time?  Let me know about your plans, and hopefully we’ll see each other at the touringplans meet!

Kristen Helmstetter

Kristen Helmstetter is an Unofficial Guide researcher who will share her 20-something perspective of all things Walt Disney World with blog readers. Kristen’s email address is You can also follow her on Twitter: @khelmstetter.

16 thoughts on “One if by Land

  • February 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Sounds like it will be an awesome trip–Cape May is one of the best character dining locations–have a great time!

    • February 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      I’m really excited about it! It should be a great trip. I had dinner at Cape May a few years ago, but haven’t done breakfast so I’m glad to hear you like it so much.

  • February 16, 2011 at 11:37 am


    Sounds like a great trip you have cooked up there. My wife, I and our 5 month old baby will be down the same time and going on the same cruise. We get in on the 25th so won’t be able to make the meet, but maybe we’ll see you on the Dream. Keep an eye out for two stressed out people trying to learn on the fly traveling with a little guy. See you then!!


    • February 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      Sorry to hear you’ll miss our meet, but I hope I get to see you and your family on the Dream! I’m sure you guys will do just fine so don’t stress! Thanks for the comment!

  • February 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Looking forward to this trip. Lots will be crossed of my bucket list. This will also be my first cruise and very excited it’s on the brand new Disney Dream. Having done most of the backstage experiences in Disney World i”m really looking forward to doing the Wild Africa Trek. Haven’t heard anything negative about it so far except for price. Also this is my first stay at Boardwalk Villas & Beach Club it’s almost like i’m going for the first time and not my 100th! Looking forward to breakfast at Cape May Cafe which is also a first. See you there!

    • February 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      I’m glad you’re excited too, Doug! There will definitely be lots of firsts on this trip and I can’t wait to get started! See you next week!

  • February 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Take Dramamine or better yet, get one of those patches for seasickness. Trust me if it’s your first cruise you will want do this. My first cruise it saved me and my roommate…everyone else got sick…even those who had been on cruises before. On the bright side you will have a fabulous time, especially since it’s a Disney cruise ship. Have fun!

    • February 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      I hadn’t thought about that, thanks Debbie! I’ve had a lot of experience on smaller vessels so I didn’t think I’d be likely to get sea sickness. But maybe I’ll pick up some dramamine just in case. I’m so excited about the cruise! I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Disney Cruise Line. Thank so much for reading!

  • February 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Hope to meet you at the meet! 😀

  • February 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I love your blog post title!! And I can’t wait to read Two if By Sea! (That better be the name of the cruise portion).

    Can’t wait to follow my very first Touring Plan. Maybe I’ll actually get on some attractions this time! (Though I wouldn’t have traded a minute of my other trips. Not even the time spent in first aid.)

    • February 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Erin! With following the plan we should be able to tackle a ton of attractions! Plus you’ll get to see the park opening show.

  • February 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Hi Kristen…Sounds like a great trip…we are also going on the same Dream cruise and also have the Wild Africa Trek scheduled for Saturday, but at 10am!! We’ll miss the meet though…it would have been our first! We get in on the 25th…perhaps we’ll see each other on the Dream!! Enjoy your birthday celebration!!

    • February 18, 2011 at 7:53 am

      Hi Lisa! How exciting that you’ll be doing some of the same things as me! We have 9 people in my group for the Wild Africa Trek (we tried to buy all 12 spots) so the only time slot that could take us was the 8:30. I feel really badly for the other 3 people on our tour! Hopefully they’ll be a lot of fun and just join our silly bunch. Hopefully, I’ll see you on the Dream! Have a great trip!

  • February 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve been to both Cape May Cafe and Captain’s Grill for breakfast. They are about 85% the same in terms of food at the buffet, and CG also has an a la carte menu. The biggest difference is that Captain’s Grill has no characters, and is also less money. Obviously, you pay a premium for characters (as we all know). Not that I didn’t enjoy Cape May, but if you are looking for a good breakfast that’s reasonably priced and character free, try Captain’s Grill.

  • February 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Hi John! That’s good advice. I’ve heard good things about the Captain’s Grill before, but I am yet to try it. We’ll have our friend in tow who loooooves the characters so its worth the extra cost this time around. Be on the lookout for a review of our breakfast at Cape May Cafe in the future. Thanks for reading!

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