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Resort Review: Disney’s Paradise Pier

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

Are you looking to stay at a Disney resort while visiting Disneyland? Have you heard about Disney’s Paradise Pier!? I recently spent 3 nights at this resort and I really enjoyed it! Not only is this hotel a close walk to both of the parks, but it is also right next door to the Disneyland resort and Disney’s Grand Californian resort. The Uber ride was an affordable 15 minute ride from the John Wayne Airport. Score!

Acapella Group
Ol’ Saint Nicholas

I visited Disneyland in December, which is around the holidays. As I stepped foot into the resort, I was immediately greeted by a live acapella singing group, who were spreading Christmas cheer to all with Christmas carols. I even got to meet Santa!

Registered Guest Gate Only

Along with the convenience aspect, when you stay at this resort, you also get to enjoy the perks at the other resorts such as Disney’s Grand Californian. We would start our day by walking across the street and using our room key to access this amazing resort. You simply cross the street, scan your room key at the side guest gate and you are in! It is that easy! This access gets you into the resort, both parks, Downtown Disney and the restaurants that are at the resort as well! I loved that I could enjoy the other resorts within walking distance without having to be an exclusive guest. Our resort was so convenient that one day I walked back to the hotel to rest and freshen up before park hopping. After a 10 minute walk from the park, I was able to rest my feet and layer up my clothing for the chilly evening weather. Knowing that I didn’t have to take any extra transportation was so nice! If you have small children, this location is perfectly convenient for nap time!

Family Entertainment Spot

Being a lover of the beach, I felt all of the nostalgia vibes of my childhood while staying here. All of the staff were super helpful and friendly! Our room was spacious and accommodating. The views from our room were breathtaking with the pool and mountains on one side and Disney’s California Adventure park on the other! This resort doesn’t miss a beat. They even have nice gift shop, where I was able to bring some magic home with me. If you are looking for a place to stay while visiting Disneyland, I highly recommend staying at Disney’s Paradise Pier!

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

✨Disney’s Land and Sea Vacation Package✨

Disney Cruise Line

Trying to decide what to do for your next family vacation? Is the ocean calling but Cinderella’s castle is your second home? How about planning a Disney “Land and Sea” vacation package?! This option is the best of both worlds and everybody wins. On this vacation, accomplish those beach vibes while also enjoying the classic rides in the parks at Walt Disney World! Who wouldn’t want that?!

Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios

The process is simple! First, contact a Disney travel agent. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Next, set up all of the Disney details. Start with which cruise ship and sailing dates work best with your schedule and then build your Disney World dates around them. I can help you decide which resort to enjoy and how many park ticket days is best for your family. Once we have the cruise and Disney World details set up, we can schedule the shuttle. This shuttle will include two steps. The first shuttle will take you straight to Walt Disney World from the airport. Once the “land” trip portion is concluded, another shuttle will take your family to the “sea”! Arrive at Port Canaveral and embark on your Disney cruise ship. While on the cruise, almost everything such as food, drinks, and entertainment is all inclusive. Don’t worry about a thing! Did you know Disney has their own private island called “Castaway Cay”? This beautiful island is located in the Bahamas! How cool is that?! Enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch while swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the island for the day. Next stop is an international port, we will be visiting Nassau, Bahamas on our cruise next year! I’m super excited!

If this “Land and Sea” vacation package sounds like the perfect vacation for you and your family, give me a call! I’d love to work for you! Together we can customize the ultimate vacation experience perfect for everyone’s needs!

This wraps up this weeks blog. Until next time, see ya real soon!✨

Disney Cruise Line Shuttle

✨A guide to Park Hopping at Walt Disney World✨

Sky liner to Hollywood Studios.

Do you want to eat dinner in Epcot but your family wants to start the day in Magic Kingdom? Maybe your favorite restaurant in Animal Kingdom only has an opening for dinner the same day your family scored an early ride pass for Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios. With a park hopper ticket, everyone wins! By purchasing a park hopper ticket, the opportunities are endless! When we visited earlier this year in February, our trip was so much more enjoyable by adding this ticket feature. We were able to get the full experience out of each day. For example, Magic Kingdom had opened at 8 am. We started our day there and then park hopped at 2 pm to Epcot, which was open until 11 pm. Epcot didn’t open until 11 am, so by visiting Magic kingdom first, we were able to adventure more on our day. Also, Epcot has so many dining options, so we had a lot of fun planning our dining arrangements. Another scenario is starting your day in Hollywood Studios and enjoy all of the rides that you can and then hop over to Animal Kingdom for a nice dinner at Tusker House or Yak & Yeti and then enjoy Pandora at night. We had planned each day differently to our liking and didn’t miss out on anything! With the park hopper, we feel as if this is the best way to enjoy Disney World after visiting for several years. Are you only in Disney World for one day? You could visit all 4 parks in one day. I’ve yet to try it myself but I’ve heard stories from people who have done this! If you are interested in adding this feature to your ticket, it’s really simple! Have your travel agent add this feature to your ticket package. It’s that easy! As an agent specializing in Disney, I can suggest the best way to travel from park to park as well as offer the best dining options! Try exploring Disney World in a new way by adding the Park Hopper option today.

This wraps up this blog. If your family is looking to visit Disney World, Universal, book a cruise, or maybe even a beach destination, give me a shout! I’d love to work for you! Until next week, see ya real soon!✨

Disney’s Vero Beach: Trip Report with Christian Hayes

Leilani on the beach.

Did you know that Disney has a beach resort in Florida? Today we are diving into Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. This resort is located in Vero Beach, Florida just two hours southeast of Walt Disney World Resort. To learn more about this resort, I interviewed my sister-n-law, Christian Hayes. She enjoyed a wonderful time here with her family a couple of years ago. Let’s jump into the interview to hear more about their trip:


Q: How many days did you stay?

A: We stayed here for 6 days. 


Q: Who all attended this vacation?

A: Myself, Andy, and Leilani. This was our baby moon before our new son Liam entered the world.


Q. How did you travel to the resort?

A. We flew to Orlando’s MCO airport and then drove the 1.5 hours with our rental car. 


Q. What time of year did you go? And how was the weather?

A. We went in October. The weather was actually perfect. It barely rained but I have to say that the ocean was very choppy that time of year. 


Q. What kind of stateroom did you stay in? What is your opinion of the stateroom quality?

A. We stayed in a standard double queen room. The quality was up to Disney standards. It was really nice and clean. Not to mention I was pregnant. Hello, I needed back support! Haha!


Q. Tell me about how you filled your days. What did they have to do as far as activities around the resort?

A. You could visit the beach, swim in the pools and they had a lot of kid’s activities. They even had s’mores on the beach! Since this trip was before Disney+, they had every Disney movie available in the gift shop for a free rental. We thought that was really neat. They also offer free put-put golf for the family.


Q. How would you compare this pace to a regular Disney vacation?

A. This was very laid back, slow paced and relaxing. There was a very chill beach vibe the whole time.


Q. What were the highlights of the trip?

A. Enjoying time at the pool. It kept our daughter Leilani occupied the whole time. She was so happy and loved it. Offsite there was this nature habitat park that had a bunch of animals. It was fun and we loved it. 


Andy and Leilani playing in the kid’s pool by the water slide.

Q. What goals did you want to achieve with this trip? 

A. We wanted to enjoy our family of 3 while we could before my son was born. This trip was all about Leilani and making her feel special.


Q. Were there any negative items that you would like to add?

A. The only negative was the beach. Seaweed was everywhere and I didn’t see any efforts of them cleaning this up. 

Q. Do you have any recommendations on items to bring or pack that caught you off guard?

A. I would say bring your own beach toys as they don’t provide any. Snacks to save you money. A sunhat and sunscreen as those items are pricey in the gift shop. 


Q. How was the dining at the resort?

A. The food was so good. They even have refillable mugs like the parks! While we were at the pool, we would eat from the quick service option the Wind & Waves Market. We would enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinners at the Wind & Waves Grill as well. The food was delicious, our plates were clean. It was a really nice restaurant and be sure to make reservations.


Q. With Disney World so close, did you visit?

A. Yes, we went to Magic Kingdom on our second day. It provided a good mix to our vacation. 


Q. Overall as a family, what were your favorite things?

A.  Andy loved the waterslide. Leilani loved the waterslide, making a shark tooth necklace and she won the fastest time on the waterslide race in her age bracket! I enjoyed chilling next to the pool. Being 7 months pregnant, it was very comfortable to lay next to the pool and I enjoyed watching them play.


Christian, first of all, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to complete this interview with me. I am very appreciative. Secondly, thank you for your thoroughness. I was able to learn a lot about this destination from your experience.


This concludes this blog. I hope that this interview was insightful, which was my goal. If you are looking for your next family vacation, give this place a look! If you would like quotes or are looking to book, give me a shout. I’d love to work for you! Until next week, see you real soon!✨

✨What to Pack in Your Park Bag✨

My Favorite Park Bag!

☀️ The Sun Essentials- They don’t call Florida the Sunshine state for nothing! Keep your eyes protected by packing your favorite sunglasses, your eyes will thank you! Having a hair tie handy can be a lifesaver if you need to pull your hair up. Protecting you skin is so important. Don’t forget about packing and applying sun cream with a good SPF regularly to prevent the family from sunburns. Who wants to go through vacation with a painful sunburn?💡: If you do run into a sunburn, I recommend keeping aloe vera in your hotel fridge. When you return at night, you can slather the cooling gel onto your hot skin for instant relief. This is also great for sore & hot feet. You will thank me later. Other options such as a mini fan & cooling towels are sure to bring you relief on a hot day.

I purchased these from Amazon.

☔️Weatherproofing- It is almost guaranteed to rain at least once on your Disney vacation, but don’t let this put a damper on your trip. I suggest packing large Ziplock bags, a small umbrella or poncho. Rain jackets also come in handy and are lightweight. 💡: Ziplock bags are not only great for storing wet umbrellas or rain gear but you can also store your electronics, autograph book or snacks to keep them dry from the rain or water rides.

📱Electronics- If you are like me and like to capture every moment at the parks by snapping tons of pictures, you better bring back up. A backup battery pack that is. Spending all day in the parks is sure to drain your battery. By packing a charging option, you can rest assured that all those magical moments will be cherished!

Back up battery charger from Wal Mart.

🩺 Health items- Expect the unexpected. Sometimes things happen, so be prepared. Disney food may cause heartburn or indigestion. Keep Tums or Pepto Bismol tablets handy. Purchasing these items beforehand will not only save you a ton of money but will also be very convenient. Small World give you a headache? Stash some Tylenol or IB Profen in your bag. Venturing in the parks all day is very tiring on the body and can cause inflammation. Having these meds on hand will provide relief. Germs are everywhere! Don’t forget those Wet wipes or hand sanitizer to keep you fresh and clean. Anyone in the family have food allergies? Disney allows you to bring in your own snacks to the parks! Stay hydrated by packing a refillable water bottle. Between the sun and thousands of steps, staying hydrated is crucial. 💡: Did you know Disney provides complimentary ice water anywhere in their parks? Take advantage of this! They even offer complimentary bug spray! Ask any cast member for the nearest location in each park.

🦶🏻Foot Care- The average amount of steps taken daily in a Disney Park is around 10,000 steps. Always wear your most comfortable shoes to the parks! Between blisters and other possible foot pain, it’s good to prevent these occurrences by wearing proper footwear. The last thing you want to do is ruin your feet on your first day. I like to take it to the next level and wrap my pinky toes in mole skin. Since my pinky toes tend to get rubbed from walking, this prevents blisters.

🍬Chewing Gum- Did you know that Disney does not sell gum simply because of the mess it would make? Because of this they don’t want it readily available to guests. If you enjoy chewing gum, be sure to pack this before you step on property.

✨Pack the Magic- Don’t forget your tickets! They can be via magic band or on a card but either way, this is your ticket to the magic! Sport your favorite ears for festivity & photos! When in person “meet and greets” return, don’t forget the Autograph book and sharpie!

My rose gold ears!

💫Well folks, these items are what I keep on my park bag. Knowing that I have these items on hand, I have peace while in the parks. Whatever obstacle approaches me, I have a solution! Until next week, have a magical day! See you real soon!

✨How to enjoy your next trip to Walt Disney World✨

Magical Tip #1: Make a Plan! Have you ever heard that phrase “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” This is definitely the case at Disney World. I encourage your whole family to sit down together and make a list of “ must-do items” that are your families top priorities. Where would you like to eat? What rides must you ride while visiting? Making a plan is sure to help ease off family stress and assure that no ones dreams get left behind. Who wants FOMO (Fear of missing out)? Not me! 🙋🏻‍♀️

Magical Tip #2: Use a travel agent! I must confess that this is a shameless plug. As an agent specializing in Disney travel, I’m able to work for you! Put me to work and let me work out the details for you and your family! I love planning the magic and I genuinely want you to have a great time! I offer experience, honesty, a sense of urgency, and a love for Disney. Are you having problems with your My Disney Experience app? Maybe your family members aren’t linked up to their tickets properly. Let me sit on the phone for you and find a solution with Disney. Do you need advice on where to eat? Let’s chat! I’ve eaten at several restaurants since I’m a foodie. I’d love to help with these items. Sit back and spend time with the family while I iron out the details with Disney. Hankuna Matata!

Magical Tip #3: Create realistic expectations! We live in an interesting time right now. Disney isn’t “Disney World” during these times to many. During the pandemic, my husband and I ventured to WDW for Valentine’s Day. Disney was different while there were no fast passes, dining plans, fireworks, or character “meet and greets” going on. Even though some things were not in “classic Disney style” ,a lot of items still remain the same. The Disney magic is still there and we had a great time! We enjoyed the spontaneous cavalcades and random character sightings through out the park! The parks still feel like home while being cleaner than ever! The rides haven’t changed and still tell a story. They bring you back to your childhood. Cinderella’s castle still brought me those emotions and had me all misty eyed. The food is delicious! Having expectations for any trip is realistic. At the end of the day, the trip is what you make it!

Magical Tip #4: Be prepared! Being prepared puts me at ease. It’s the little things that truly help an experience at the parks such as packing appropriately. I encourage my clients to wear comfortable and breathable clothing. Pack broken in and supporting shoes. I personally prefer a nice pair of broken in Nikes. I don’t recommend wearing uncomfortable or new shoes while walking at least 10 miles a day at Disney. Your feet will thank you! Plus that could put a damper on your trip. In Florida, its guaranteed to rain. Pack your umbrella or Pancho. Take it one step further and pack a large ziplock bag. When you want to get on a ride or eat dinner, simply fold the item and place it into the Ziploc bag. Now you don’t have to worry about getting other items in your backpack soaking wet and your hands are free. We did this on our last trip and it was life changing. Pack a back pack or small bag with snacks, drinks, a back up phone charger, rain gear, and anything else you may need. I like to have medicine for any unexpected headaches and sunscreen of course to protect my skin. I’ll do a separate blog on what to pack in your park bag. Now in these times, a mask is crucial. I suggest packing several per person. It’s humid and they get sweaty. Also, with the rain it could get soggy. Who wants to feel deal with that?

Magical Tip #5: Enjoy Yourself! Now that you’ve planned out your trip and made all of the arrangements, enjoy it! Disney requires a lot of planning and isn’t the cheapest family vacation. Make sure that you take it all in. Try new snacks! Take pictures and capture those memories with the family and make the absolute most of it! Buy that souvenir before you go home that you can’t stop thinking about. Take the magic home with you! At Disney World, there is something for everyone and you are sure to have a great time. You are worth it! ✨

This wraps up this blog. Until next time! Have a magical day and we will see you real soon! 💫

✨Taste the Magic: Ohana at Home✨

Eating breakfast at Ohana is a staple on our Disney world family vacations! The vibrant atmosphere, POG juice, and characters are what bring me back! Not to mention this character meal is served family style. There is something for everyone. Enjoy delicious “all you can eat” breakfast favorites such as Mickey waffles, biscuits, eggs, sausage, breakfast potatoes and bacon. Stopping here before starting our day in the parks keeps us fueled for hours. Wouldn’t you love to know how to recreate this meal at home? Well you can! Come along and see how you can taste the magic at home!

Ohana Pineapple Breakfast Bread

✨Ohana Pineapple Breakfast Bread

Ingredients for the bread mixture:

1 3/4 C. Water

1 Egg Yolk

2 T. Shortening

4 1/2 C. High Gluten Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/3 C Sugar

1 T. Instant Yeast

Ingredients for the Coconut Mixture:

1 C. Crushed pineapple

1 C. Unsweetened coconut

1 C. Sugar

2 T. Cornstarch


Start by making the coconut mixture first. Mix the pineapple and coconut in a bowl. Next combine the sugar and cornstarch in separate bowl and mix well. Add sugar and cornstarch mixture into the pineapple and coconut mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Now let’s move into the bread portion!

Combine all the ingredients in order of the recipe in a mixing bowl, and mix with a dough hook until the dough picks up on the hook and the sides of the mixing bowl are clean. Let dough rise until it doubles in size. Once this has happened, roll out the dough onto a floured surface until it is about 2 inches thick. Next spread pineapple/coconut mixture over the top of the dough. Fold the dough onto itself, capturing the pineapple and coconut mixture inside. Cut the dough into pieces with a pizza cutter and spread out cut pieces evenly into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Let the dough rise in warm oven (110 degrees)– about half way up the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let the bread cool, cut and serve!

💡: You may want to brush on a thin, sweet glaze. You can melt some butter & mix in maple syrup for the top. A vanilla icing is delicious as well. Honey is another alternative.

POG Juice

✨POG Juice

No Polynesian breakfast is complete without the famous POG Juice! Simply mix equal parts of Passionfruit juice, Orange juice & Guava Nectar. That’s it! You can purchase these juices at your local grocery store.

✨Don’t forget the Mickey Waffles!

Did you know you can purchase your Mickey waffle maker from Amazon?! Walmart also sells Mickey waffles in the frozen section for a more affordable option.

✨Create the Ohana Atmosphere!

Want to create the Ohana atmosphere at home? Purchase some lei’s from Amazon! These lei’s are bringing the Ohana vibes & super festive!

✨I hope these recipes and ideas are helpful! I encourage you to create your own magic at home. Until we meet again Ohana & friends! Have a magical day everyone!✨

A Great Big Beautiful Adventure

Well, the day is here and I want the world to know! I’m announcing myself as an official agent specializing in Disney travel!! I’ve waited for this opportunity for what seems like an eternity. This wasn’t a quick decision for me. Yes, I love all things Disney and traveling to Disney World, however, I was steadfast and praying for God to move me into the right direction. I didn’t want to sign up with just any travel agency. After some research and lots of prayer, I decide to put myself out there. I had posted on Facebook one day asking if anyone was a Disney travel agent or if they know of anyone to please comment below. In my life experience, the best way to find someone in any area of life is by word of mouth.

A family member and also a friend from church had tagged Leslie Lowry on my post. I reached out and we instantly became connected. It was effortless. It felt right. I learned of her podcast and YouTube channel that she creates with her husband, Dan. I felt like part of the family immediately. They are genuine and real people. I appreciated this and decided that I had found my home. Now move a couple of weeks out and here we are! I’m now a part of the Fantastical Vacations family! Let’s get this party started shall we?!

I appreciate all of the wonderful and supporting feedback that I have received. In the past, I have helped plan several Disney and Cruise type vacations for multiple friends and family. Now I get to put this to work. I’m so excited for this journey and I ask that you all follow along with me! I’ll be posting blogs to come with helpful information, life experiences, and tips and tricks to help you and your families needs. I look forward to helping many people achieve greatness on their future travels. Have a magical day! ✨