All posts by Ahnalira

When Ahnalira discovered Disney in 1985, she knew she had come ‘home’ to a place where wishes do come true and fairy godmothers are real. Her love of the concepts Disney promotes inspired the website, Our Laughing Place in 1998, as home for Disneykin as well as a place to discover the Magic and Wonder of planning a Disney adventure. As with all things, Ahnalira (or twirling fairy godmother, Ahnalira to all who know her well:) strives to provide the best in all she does…. She knew that to have an excellent Disney travel planning web site, there need to be an excellent travel service as well so she started Our Laughing Place Travel with all of the benefits of a full service, licensed, and insured agency AS WELL AS the added delight of pixie dust sprinkled over all your plans. When you send an online query to the OLP Travel “pixies”, Ahnalira promises the personalized attention that makes a vacation “a dream come true”. OLP Travel is so true to the quality of service that makes an agency successful that Disney approved Our Laughing Place Travel as an authorized Disney travel planning agency! As Ahnalira likes to says, “See how that is?”

Are You A Disney Expert?

Disney vacation, Disney travel agentIn a simpler time, being a Disney Expert meant knowing what time of years were the most crowded and how to score a Cinderella’s Royal Table breakfast reservation.  And those of us who remember those times…well, we would get Disney Expert status just based on longevity.  Ah, those were the days!

Now, with so many Disney venues, it’s a little more complicated.  Before Disney Cruise Line and Adventures By Disney came into the picture, it was enough to be either a long time Walt Disney World OR Disneyland oficionado.  No more.  Because all of the options require a detailed knowledge of factors that require a different kind of skill and knowledge to navigate.

For example, how are your internet and mobile device skills?  Continue reading Are You A Disney Expert?

Gluten Free aka Special Dining at Disney World

Disney special dining
Gluten-free pizza at Tony’s Ristorante

I have been an expert on “no sugar added” dining at Disney World for many years now.  Check out my reviews at Our Laughing Place.  I am ALL over that!  But maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle is recent for me, and–frankly–I wasn’t sure I could stay on track while touring Disney World.

My first big piece of news:  Disney World is MUCH more attentive to gluten-free diets in general.  That’s right.  The Disney company is going to make sure no one has an allergic reaction to gluten while on their property.  No way.  Now, a few people go might into diabetic comas…but that’s just because the “no sugar

no sugar added fresh raspberry sorbet
no sugar added fresh raspberry sorbet

added” movement doesn’t get the same press, I think. For example, every restaurant, from counter service to signature dining, has access to gluten free breads, pizza crusts, pastas, etc.  Not all of them order it (foreshadowing here) but it is available.  On the other hand, while every restaurant that is Disney owned is required carry a no sugar added dessert, only a few restaurants take care with the amount of sugar they put in the appetizers and entrees.  Turf Club at Saratoga Springs literally soaks their meat in brown sugar brines.  Continue reading Gluten Free aka Special Dining at Disney World

Making Magical Moments at Walt Disney World

Let’s face it…one of the main reasons to go to Walt Disney World is to experience magical moments.  Confirm or deny? Reading most guidebooks will offer an excellent description  of attractions in each Theme Park, and an entire visit to the World can easily be filled  attempting to experience what these books include…there is another layer of the World, however. It  is a world more subtle, and often overlooked by  those determined to ‘see’ all of the attractions.

It is a world where sparkling moments of magic appear  in the periphery of vision and beckon the imagination  into new vistas of possibility and opportunity.  It is a world where dreams do come true by wishing for them, and miracles really happen. It is The World of  Disney magic that calls us back again and again. Continue reading Making Magical Moments at Walt Disney World

Disney Discount Offers Getting Better!

Disney Discount Walt Disney Imagines Walt Disney WorldDisney discount offers for Walt Disney World are changing.  Disney has been trying new things. They recently had a trial offer allowing dining plans to be added to room only reservations. They also have been offering different discounts on tickets to the Walt Disney World theme parks.  Disney continues to listen to their guests.  They are creating options that allow each family to put together their personalized vacation.  I am excited about the future landscape of our Walt Disney World vacations.

Disney Discount for Summer 2014

Are you traveling to Walt Disney World this summer?  Do your dates fall between June 15 and August 28, 2014?  If you answered yes to those two questions I have good news for you.  There is a discount that will lower your cost.   Continue reading Disney Discount Offers Getting Better!

Epcot Resorts Are My First Choice!

Epcot Resorts Disney OLP Travel Epcot 30th AnniversaryThe Epcot resorts are my first choice in Walt Disney World.  I prefer this area above the Monorail Resorts.  The convenience factor is the first reason I like this area.  The dining convenience tops the list.   You can add 22 restaurants to your list of dining options, all within walking distance of two Disney theme parks.  There is a leisurely walking path that runs along the water by the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios.  The International Gateway of Epcot brings you to a path to the Epcot resorts.. Continue reading Epcot Resorts Are My First Choice!

Star Wars Weekends Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Weekends Poster 2014The Force is coming back to Walt Disney World this Spring!  Disney Hollywood Studios will host Star Wars Weekends on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 16 through June 15, 2014.  The theme is “Join the Rebellion.”  The celebrity host  for this year’s event is James Arnold Taylor.  He is the voice of hundreds of Star Wars animated characters.  The special event happens around Star Tours the Adventure Continues.  This a very popular attraction at Disney Hollywood Studios. Guests experience a galaxy filled with adventure aboard a Starspeeder 1000 in amazing digital 3-D.  Theme park admission is required to attend the Star Wars Weekends events.  Make sure you get the weekend event map when you enter the theme park.  It will have up-to-the-minute information about entertainment and appearances.  If there is an event you don’t want to miss, plan to arrive early for it. Continue reading Star Wars Weekends Hollywood Studios

Disney Side Summer Contest and Party!

Disney Side in Hollywood StudiosAre you ready for Summer yet? As I watch the weather and await another winter storm in New England  I am very ready for Summer 2014.  Dreams of a Disney Summer vacation dance in my mind.  Disney is way ahead of me with plans for Disney Parks fun in 2014.  There is plenty for me to dream about.  They have a contest and a party planned!   It is looking like it will be a Summer of the Disney Side.  Just the two words Disney Side make me smile.  I am a natural at this concept.  You know the Disney Side they mean. It is the Walt Disney World persona you have on vacation.  Everyone who knows the magic of a Disney vacation has a Disney Side.  I am showing mine here after becoming a member of the Plumbers Union at Disney Hollywood Studios.  Are you ready to show Disney your Disney Side?  They want to hear about your plans. Continue reading Disney Side Summer Contest and Party!

Disney Discount Offer for Tickets!

Disney Discount Visit Mickey and Magic KingdomDisney is really mixing it up with Disney discount offers recently. I was a bit surprised to see them offering the most recent promotion on the purchase of  Walt Disney World theme park tickets. It is for groups of 6 or more guests purchasing Walt Disney World theme park admission. They have offered a Disney discount on tickets attached to Magic Your Way Packages in the past. There is an offer for that type of deal that is available to book right now. That is the Play, Stay and Dine offer. But this is the first time in my memory that Disney has offered a discount to the general public on ticket-only purchases. This offer comes right behind the offer that allows dining to be added to Walt Disney World Resort room-only reservations. The Walt Disney World Ticketless Package is a brand new concept. Disney is calling it a trial. The ticket offer is also a trial.  There are terms and conditions to this offer. Continue reading Disney Discount Offer for Tickets!

Disney Dining Plan For Room Only Stay!

Disney Dining at Via NapoliThis is not a rumor!  Disney is allowing guests to add Disney Dining Plans to room only reservations in Walt Disney World!  This is certainly big news for Disney travelers.  The newest package will be known as the Walt  Disney World Ticketless Package. The details on the Disney Dining Plans  will remain the same.  You can choose the Quick Service Plan, which my family likes.   It has counter service options and a  snack each night. The regular dining plan has a counter service option and a sit down option for each night. You also get a snack. The deluxe dining plan comes with three meals per night and two snacks. Every dining plan provides you with a resort refillable mug for your Disney vacation stay. Pretty cool that we can add these to room only stays now!  Of course, there are some rules. Continue reading Disney Dining Plan For Room Only Stay!

Epcot Flower & Garden Music, Food, Fun!

Events at the Flower and Garden Festival Seven DwarfThe 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is getting  ready to start in Walt Disney World.  This means Spring is just around the corner.  Disney special events always tend  to make me look  forward to each season.  Spring is a pretty welcomed season for me.  If your Disney vacation dates fall during the festival, make sure you plan extra Epcot time.   Disney has lots of fun events planned for this year’s festival.  The opening day of the Flower and Garden Festival is March 5, 2014.  It runs through May 18, 2014.  The flower displays will be extraordinary.   There will be gardens, exhibits and special events.  The Flower Power Concerts at The America Gardens Theatre are a yearly part of the festival.  This year Disney has invited the HGTV folks back to the festival.  There is also plenty to eat!  Disney introduced outdoor kitchens around the World Showcase.  They will be back this year. Continue reading Epcot Flower & Garden Music, Food, Fun!