Showing posts from 2015

10 Reasons Walt Disney World is For Everyone

The craziest thing people ever say to Francis and me is "meh, I'm not really into the Disney thing." If your idea of "the Disney thing" is amusement parks, costumed characters, and mediocre food, boy are you missing out. OUR Disney thing is luxury resorts, fancy dinners, beautiful scenery, and every type of recreation you can think of. You could easily spend a week at "Walt Disney World" without ever going to a park.

1. Show me another hotel in North America with a savanna outside your window! We had a savanna view room at Animal Kingdom Lodge on our honeymoon, and the giraffes showed up outside out room at 4pm every day. Check out the Wanyama Safari sunset tour of the grounds, followed by a chefs table dinner with South African wine pairings at Jiko: The Cooking Place. Also check out Sanaa restaurant  at Kidani Village for an excellent savanna view while you dine.

2. Boardwalk Inn & Villas - This Coney Island styled resort also features a chef…

How to Have a Magical Time at Walt Disney World

I recently read a blog that was a list of "rookie mistakes" made by first timers visiting Walt Disney World. Besides being a lazy list stretching to fill itself out (what parent needs to be told that everyone needs to go potty when one has to go?), I don't like when a list of tips is couched in the smug terms of "rookie mistakes". Planning your first trip to Walt Disney World is already intimidating, right? I'd rather tell you how to add value than imply that you're going to make mistakes!

1. Obviously my first tip is to use a travel agent who is a Disney specialist! (That's me!)A great Disney specialist thinks the Disney travel agent training College of Knowledge test is too easy. They can help you book dining, Fast Pass +, special tours, and will have all kinds of extra tips. Most importantly, it shouldn't add any additional cost to your reservation! The travel agent is paid commission by Disney and the prices they see are the same ones you see…

Our Favorite D23 Expo Announcements!

What is D23, you ask? It's the official Disney fan club! D for Disney, 23 for the year (1923) Walt moved to Hollywood and founded the company. The D23 Expo is like Comic Con for Disney fans, with major announcements and panels and shopping all weekend. It's like Christmas for Disney nerds and we've been following the Expo news on social media all weekend. Here are the big announcements we're most excited about!

1. STAR WARS! There have been rumors for years about Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios, especially this year as several attractions closed, and rumors about a major park expansion at Disneyland as the company has acquired land in Anaheim, but I don't recall anyone hypothesizing that BOTH PARKS would get a 14 acre Star Wars themed expansion, the largest single-theme expansion ever. Some new Star Wars experiences will be added as early as this year!

2. Francis's Star Wars pick is the cast announcement for Rogue One. Check out for a photo and…

The Triumphant Return of Francis + Beth! Now With Lilly!

Welcome to Franceth Travels! Many of you may know Francis and me (Beth) from the blog I started in 2008, Craves, Caves, & Graves. In the 6 years of writing that blog, I met, married, and had a baby with Francis, and also learned a lot from him about photography, and changed a lot of my philosophies about writing a travel blog. I also became a travel agent just for the joy of helping people plan their Disney Vacations, and I started a home based business so that I could stay at home with Lilly, spend more time writing, and generally spend more time having fun. That's a lot of changes! There was so much I wanted to change about CC&G that it got overwhelming, so I decided to take a break when I was pregnant and see how things went when Lilly was born.

I am happy to report that at three weeks of age, Lilly seems to be fairly portable, happy in the car, and a great sleeper, so we have started venturing out of doors! Not only that, but we just booked our next Disney Land & S…

Walt Disney World Wednesday - Pete's Silly Sideshow

I have to admit, up until this last trip, Storybook Circus was an area of WDW that we had mostly neglected. When we were there in December, we found ourselves at that end of the park after the fireworks, and after we had already done most everything we wanted to do that day (or could do - don't get me started on missing out on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train AGAIN). Finding a mostly empty Pete's Silly Sideshow late at night was like a magical mash-up of Disney and Carnivale. This is definitely my new favorite character greeting spot! PS: This is why you should always spring for Memory Maker. I can say it has been 100% worth it every single time.

* Originally published on I have permission from myself to repost. ;)