10 Things to know about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is amazing with larger than life characters that celebrate the films we all know and love. Read through for 10 fun facts about this amazing resort.


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1. Art of Animation resort has 4 separate wings each themed with beloved characters from The Little Mermaid, Lion King, Nemo and Cars.

2. You can learn how to draw Disney characters with character artists in the lobby.  This is a great activity for the kids to enjoy while the parents check-in at the first resort to offer check-in pods instead of the traditional check-in desks.

3. The family suites in this resort sleep up to 6 guests and outnumber the standard rooms.  The family suites have 3 separate sleeping areas, 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette.  You will find the family suites in the Lion King, Nemo and Cars wings of the resort.

4. The quick service food court, Landscape of Flavors, is the first food court to use washable plates and utensils instead of disposable. At Landscape of Flavors you can customize your meals when they are made. The food offered at this quick service restaurant is unique and ranges from Italian to Asian to well known American dishes.

5. Lobby Artwork: The artwork on the walls of the lobby is not just artwork, it takes guests on a journey from concept art to completion.  When guests enter the lobby the floors are black & whit and then change to a giant color palate.  The lights behind the check-in area are designed to be the color palate behind the artwork on the opposite wall.  Next time you visit this fantastic lobby, take a look at the journey that Ursela, from the Little Mermaid, has taken since she was sketched on paper to when she was put into the animated film.

6. The Big Blue Pool is the feature pool, themed after fining Nemo. It holds over 310,000 gallons of water andis the largest pool on Disney property outside of the water parks.  It has a dozen underwater speakers where you can listen to music and characters from Nemo., but speakers can only be heard when you submerse your head under the water.  Yes, you have to get your head wet.  lol

7. The Cars wing has life-sized characters from the movie including Lightening McQueen, Doc, Mater and even some that you cannot see in the parks including Fillmore, Sarge, Luigi & Ramon.  These provide wonderful photo opportunities for Cars fans of all ages.

8. The Art of Animation Resort buildings are almost a reverse mirror image of the building layout at Pop Century Resort.  The resort is also located just across Generation Gap Bridge from Pop Century.  If you would like to explore another well-themed value resort, just walk across the bridge.  They also have a wonderful pizza option in the Pop food court.
COMING SOON: on the left hand side of the Generation Gap Bridge, the Disney Skyliner gondola system will take guests on gondolas that seat 12, from Art of Animation & Pop Century to Epcot & Hollywood Studios.

9. All of the standard rooms, that sleep 4 guests, are located in the Little Mermaid wing and this wing does not have any family suites.

10. There is a running trail that makes a complete loop around the lake and between both the Art of Animation Resort and the Pop Century Resort.

For more photos of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, visit my website HERE

Read details about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort HERE

Let us help plan the details of your vacation!

Which hotel is the right fit for your family? Where to dine, attractions, crowds and all that goes along with planning a vacation is a lot to think about.  With a Disney-focused travel agent by your side, you can plan as much or as little as you desire.  My planning assistance all comes at NO additional cost to you and is based on countless hours of personal experience.

• Receive a welcome packet when you book, filled with information & a custom planning calendar.
Dining reservation assistance. Let me help you make your dining reservations for those popular Disney Restaurants. *based on availability
Fastpass+ assistance.  Undeicded on which attractions are the best for your family? I’m happy to help you plan to utilize your Fastpasses to your advantage and will also provide assistance making those reservations *based on availability
Itinerary plans and printed itinerary with added suggestions to optimize your day and your experiences.
Fee-Free Planning. All of my assistance comes at no added cost to you. I book directly through Disney and never charge a service fee.  When you book your trip through me, you will get all of the services that Disney offers, plus the personalized service that I offer.
• Help planning visits to other area attractions outside of the Disney theme parks.  If you are considering adding other Orlando attractions to your vacation, why not get assistance of someone who is local and been there?

You get all of this and more when you book your Disney vacation through Melissa of Pixie Dust Adventures (me).  Click here to visit my website & get started with a no obligation quote.

Thank you for reading!  My name is Melissa and I am a Disney fanatic; I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney parks with my family.  The only thing I love more than exploring Disney myself is helping others plan their vacations.  I hope that I will be able to assist you in planning yours.
Melissa Mathies – Pixie Dust Adventures

Why Use a Travel Agent for your next Walt Disney World Vacation…

Pixie Dust Adventures - Disney Focused Travel Planning


WDW Dessert Parties now Available for Holiday Party Nights

yIf you are planning to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this fall for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party during the holiday season, you might want to add a reservation for a dessert party.  In order to participate in the dessert party you must already have tickets to the holiday party that night.


During Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party guests can indulge in spooky treats starting with a glass of sparkling cider and moving on through a delicious buffet of treats such as chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, cupcakes, seasonal fruit, cheeses and more.  Various non-alcoholic drinks will also be served.  End the party with perfect views of the Cinderella Castle for the Happy-Hallowishes fireworks show.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Dessert Party Takes Place select nights from Aug. 29 – Nov. 7 2017.

For an extra bit of festive entertainment during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, make a reservation for the dessert party where you will enjoy tables decked with boughs of holly & enjoy delectable, holiday themed desserts that are similar in taste to what is offered at the Halloween Party.  When you have had your fill of sweet treats, sit back & relax with front row seats for the holiday fireworks.  Reservations are available on select nights from Nov. 9 – Dec. 22, 2017.

These parties are one way that you can get amazing views of Cinderella’s Castle & the holiday fireworks shows without having to claim your spot hours in advance.  The parties take place on the Tomorrowland Terrace and the cost is $79 + tax for adults; $47 + tax for children ages 3 – 9.  You must have a valid ticket to the holiday party on the night that you plan to attend the dessert event.

Reservations for this special event fill up quickly.  If you are one of my guests, let me know if you would like my assistance making a reservation.

Thank you for reading.  My name is Melissa and I am a Disney fanatic; I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney theme parks with my family.  If you would like free planning assistance for your next Disney vacation, contact me for a free, no obligation quote.
Melissa Mathies, Travel Designer & Destination Specialist


2018 Run Disney Star Wars Half Marathon Packages Now Available

We were at the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon in person & we had a fabulous time.  The expo was amazing and they even offered some unique, Star Wars themed snacks which we could not resist trying.  If you are interested in this exciting event for 2018, don’t delay, reserve your race registration and resort package today!  The race registrations will fill up quickly and right now you can reserve your 2018 package before the Disney packages are even open to the public.  My family has already registered for the races in 2018; we hope to see you there & give you a high five with your medal!!!

2017 Star Wars Medals.  Which is your favorite?  Which will you run for?

It’s a weekend of galactic fun and fantastic runs during the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side – at the Walt Disney World® Resort!  Book your  Magic Your Way® Package with Race Registration for the 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend, April 19-22, 2018. And, once you’ve registered for one or more of the weekend’s events, you can use your Magic Your Way Package to enjoy the rest of your vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort.

After a great race, we decided to treat everyone to some galactic desserts.  The fruit tacos were very unique and hit the spot while we ate in the Cantina Bar themed area.

Race registrations for the 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend events listed below can be included with Vacation Packages.

Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side – Guests can feel the force on this 13.1 mile thrilling adventure.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Star Wars Dark Side Challenge – The ultimate test of strength and endurance.

Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22, 2018

Star Wars 10K – Packed with 6.2 miles of running excitement.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Star Wars  5K – The entire family can thrill to the excitement of a Star Wars 5K!

Friday, April 20, 2018

runDisney Kids Races – There’s fun for runners of every age!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Celebrating in 2017, we hope to see you there in 2018!

Contact me to reserve your Star Wars, Dark Side, Half Marathon package today!

My name is Melissa and I am a Disney fanatic.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney parks with my family.  I always stay up to date on the current events & offers and I look forward to helping you plan at NO additional cost to you.  Yes, all of my planning services are FREE when you book through me.
Melissa Mathies, Travel Designer & Destination Specialist
Pixie Dust Adventures – Destinations by Melissa


Disney Night of Joy 2017, New Ticket Options

The 2017 Night of Joy talent lineup looks amazing, and this year Disney has introduced a new ticket structure as this popular event returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® Resort Sept. 8-9, 2017.

Tickets will go on sale in early June; let me know if you are interested & I can email you when they are released.


Guests will be able to buy both concert-only OR theme-park-and-concert-combination tickets for either evening – or also a two-night ticket.

Ticket options include:

  • Single night concert only tickets will be $45 plus tax in advance
  • Two-night concert only tickets will be $69 plus tax in advance
  • Single night concert tickets plus a (1) day at a Walt Disney World theme park add on will be $107 plus tax *
  • Two-night concert tickets with a (1) day at a Walt Disney World theme park add on will be $131 plus tax **

There also will be premium seating packages available for an extra charge; and groups of 10 or more will be able to get discounted tickets, as with past events.

A little reminder about this year’s talent: (Entertainment subject to change.)

  • Friday, Sept. 8 – MercyMe, TobyMac, Zach Williams, Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Rend Collective.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kirk Franklin, Jordan Feliz, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tye Tribbett.

* Add-on Theme Park Ticket Option is good for use any one day September 8-30, 2017 at any one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks

**2-day Concert plus 1-day Theme Park Advanced ticket will also include (1) admission to your choice of Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park for one use September 8-30, 2017. Individuals must purchase by August 8, 2017 to receive water park ticket. Groups must purchase by August 25, 2017 to receive water park ticket. 

Thank you for reading,
My name is Melissa and I am a Disney Fanatic; I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me in one of the Disney theme parks with my family almost every weekend.  I love exploring the parks and helping people plan their own magical vacations.  All of my booking and planning services are FREE.  Planning your next Disney vacation all starts with a free quote.  Visit my website or contact me.
Melissa Mathies, Travel Designer & Destination Specialist


What in Walt Disney World is… School Bread

Delicious, is what School Bread is.  That is the unofficial way that I like to describe it.  But for those that want more technical details…  School Bread is the most popular selling pastry in Epcot and anyone who has savored this delicious bread can understand why.  This sweet semi-firm roll is injected with vanilla pudding or custard then covered with sweet icing and toasted coconut.

The bread is a classic Norwegian Snack.  In Norway it is called “Skolebrod” and is packed in school lunches and sold at bake sales.

You can purchase School Bread in Epcot’s Norway pavilion at the Kringla Bakeri Og Café.  At the time of writing this article (March 2017) the price of this sweet roll is currently $3.49 up from $3.19 less than 2 years ago.

If this sounds like a tasty treat to you, be sure to stop & try the School Bread the next time you visit Epcot.  If you are a light eater, this heavy bread can be shared between 2 people or can even be a great breakfast.  I personally have found the bread to be more mouth watering when I’ve purchased it in the morning.  Maybe this is because it was fresh or just the way that it happened to be made that day.

Not planning to visit Epcot anytime soon, but have some talent in the kitchen?  Try making your own school bread from this recipe that I found online by Kari Diehl on ‘The Spruce’: CLICK HERE
Be sure and let me know how it turns out in the comments below.

Thank you for reading.  My name is Melissa and I am a Disney addict; I’m also a Travel Agent.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney Parks with my family sampling some type of new treat.  I’m not sure I will ever eat my way through everything that Disney has to offer.  If you would like to plan a Disney vacation and would like some FREE planning assistance, contact me for a free quote.  It never costs extra to book with me as your travel agent and I’m here to help you plan all the details.
Melissa Mathies, Travel Designer & Destination Specialist

Why use a Travel Agent for your next Disney Vacation?



2018 WDW Marathon Packages Available February 14th 2017!

What better way to tell someone you love them than with a RunDisney marathon package for 2018?  I can help you plan and set up all of the details.

Whether you are young or young at heart, a runner or more of a trotter, Run Disney is an amazing, uplifting race experience for everyone!  It’s not about winning or getting the best time, it is more about completion while running alongside of and encouraging fellow runners.

These race registrations fill up very quickly and this is a great opportunity to get yours before they run out of spots!


It’s the most magical race on earth! The Walt Disney World® Marathon adventure is unlike anything else. beginning February 14th, you can book your Race Registration with a Magic Your Way® Package for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which takes place Jan. 3-7, 2018.

A Magic Your Way Package allows guests to enjoy Disney fun for the whole family throughout the race weekend. They pick their favorite Disney Resort hotel and the number of days for their Theme Park ticket.

Plus, when guests stay at a Disney Resort hotel they’ll enjoy special benefits, including complimentary MagicBands and early access to Disney FastPass+ planning up to 60 days before they arrive!

*Race registrations are non-refundable.

After spending some time at the Run Disney Expo for the 2017 Marathon, I am convinced that this is one of the most amazing Runner events around.  There was so much to do that you could easily spend a few hours shopping and touring around the Expo at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.  Cigna is the 2017 sponsor and they have done such a marvelous job at it.  They offered free airbrush tattoos, runner belts, cheer cards and more.  There was so much to look at that even if you do not run in the Run Disney Marathon, you may want to plan a few hours just visiting the Expo.

I’m looking forward to my personal experience with Run Disney in April for the Star Wars Half Marathon.

My name is Melissa and I now live in Florida, I’m also a travel agent.  If you are interested in any of the Run Disney events, contact me to book your Disney vacation package today!  It all starts with a free, no obligation quote.
Melissa, Travel Agent – Pixie Dust Adventures
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What in Walt Disney World… are Smokehouse Nachos?

Perhaps you are wondering around Disney Springs and may be headed for a show at Cirque or a Movie at the AMC Theater & you are a little hungry, but… you have a later dining reservation & you don’t want to eat too much.  The Smokehouse Nachos are the perfect choice for you to share as a snack or make a meal out of a single serving.  We’ve made lunch for our family of four out of two orders of Nachos and four drinks.
These delicious & loaded nachos are very filling  and you have two choices:
1. Smokehouse Nachos with Pulled Pork: (on left above) Crispy fried tri-color corn tortilla chips topped with house-made cheese sauce, avocado lime crema, pickled jalapenos, fresh-made pico de gallo and cilantro with pulled smoked pork
2. Smokehouse Nachos with Pulled Chicken: (on right above) these are almost identical to the Pulled Pork Nachos above with pulled smoked chicken instead of the pork.

You can find these Nachos at The Smokehouse located on the West Side of Disney Springs near the House of Blues.  The cost is $9.99 for each order of Nachos and adult soda’s are $2.25; a child soda is $1.99.  The soda’s are not really large, but were large enough that the ice began to melt before we drank them completely.
This is a walk up counter service location & there is no seating directly in the front of the building.  So eat this snack while you are on the run or find seating on the patio of the House of Blues or around Disney Springs.
The smokehouse also serves other menu items like Smoked Turkey legs for $9.99, pulled chicken sandwich for $11.99 and children’s items like a mini smoked pulled park slider for $6.99.

Overall I enjoyed this affordable & filling snack for sharing.  The Disney Quick Service Meal Plan is accepted at this location as of the date of this being published.

Next time you are searching for a filling snack in Disney Springs, consider trying The Smokehouse Nachos.

My name is Melissa and I am a Florida local.  You will catch me in the Disney parks almost every weekend.  I enjoy being a part of all of the new attractions and I can never get enough of the delicious food that Disney has to offer.  If you would like some assistance booking and planning your next Disney vacation, visit www.PixieDustAdventures.com for a no obligation quote & FREE, detailed planning assistance.
Thank you for reading, Melissa
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