I will admit, up until a few weeks ago I had no idea where all of this resided within the galaxy. Yes, I was one of the very few people in the world that had not watched any of the Star Wars movies. Now, before you go doubting my ability to navigate through Galaxy’s Edge, I am a quick learner and the force is with me. Upon getting sound advice from all of my Star Wars expert friends, I settled in to watching Episode IV, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi prior to my adventure to Disneyland. I was assured by these aficionados I would be in good shape and completely understand what I’m doing while visiting this galaxy!
Not to bore you with my new-found fondness of these movies, I armed myself with a fresh mind of knowledge and was to ready join the Rebel Alliance and take on what may come my way! One item my friends at Disneyland failed to remember….my crew is not the morning type….thanks guys, our reservation for Galaxy’s Edge was for 8:00 am. We had been recommended to show up 2 hours early to get our wristbands from the concierge host at the Disneyland Hotel. Let’s see here, wake up wife and son at 5:15 am, hope they get ready with at least one eye open, and have them excited to see this new land after a walk from the hotel to the park. This doesn’t sound like a monumental task at all….I’ve got this. Plus I can spin it that it really isn’t 5:15 am….it’s really 8:15 am on the East Coast where we live, so you aren’t getting up too early! Fast forward to Friday morning and we are off, walking across Downtown Disney from the Disneyland Hotel to Disneyland park. We are even having a conversation and everyone is awake! This force stuff really works!
I won’t spend too much time on the reservation process as it will end on June 24th; but if you are booked within this window we would be happy to walk you through in greater detail, just let us know. We were armed with our wristbands along with several hundred of our closest friends…...now we wait until they escort us to the land. The immersion into Galaxy’s Edge had begun. As we ordered our breakfast from the Galactic Terrace, the cast members were quick to remind us that our methods of payment would work in galaxys far away. Oh, I see what you did there….pretty clever!
Making our way into Batuu, one can only marvel at the attention to detail that has been given to this special land. There are so many decisions you can make and given the fact we had a 4-hour window, we had to be strategic with our planning. We immediately put our name on the wait list for Oga’s Cantina, for which they will text you when they are ready for you to return to the line. Also, remember you are completely immersed in Batuu. You have a high chance of being stopped by Storm Troopers and enduring their interrogation. If you don’t provide sufficient enough answers, you may be pulled into another location for additional questioning. Here is where that binge watching of movies paid off….but I’m not going to spoil the surprise for you. However, trust me have fun and get in character. I could be convinced to give you some secrets if you reach out to me prior to your trip. ;)
We utilized all 4-hours of our time on Batuu. We experienced Smuggler’s Run, Oga’s Cantina, Black Spire Outpost, building Droids, blue & green milk, and Coke bottles only found on Batuu. We peaked into the scrapyard but did not participate in building any scrap metal. Disney hit a homerun on the immersion! How could one be surprised given the amount of detail in Pandora at Walt Disney World. Smuggler’s Run has excitement around riding in the Millennium Falcon and having the opportunity to pilot it, but I do not see it as the main event. It’s the experiences with Storm Troopers, hanging out in the Cantina, paying for your food or drinks in credits, building Droids or scrap metal that is going to steal the show. Oh….if you build a Droid, you can bring it back to Batuu on future visits, but it does have to be contained. Droids can be built with personality chips and they will interact with other Droids. Ask me how I know….Yes, we have two now that like to talk to each other! This blog just scratches the surface of Galaxy’s Edge. I highly recommend you reach out to your Travel Professional to work on planning your trip. If you have never been to Disneyland, there are so many reasons to experience it there and I would love to share more with you! Reach out to your Travel Professional and we can schedule a time to discuss in more detail. Don’t wait too long because the Force is With You!
Disney Cruise Line released Fall 2020 itineraries today, with a few new surprises! See below for some of the highlights and reach out to your favorite RTR Travel Professional to begin your planning today. These cruises remain in high demand and the longer you wait, there will be less availability and prices will increase.
- October 2020 the Disney Magic will return to New York for sailings to Bermuda and Canada. All cruises will feature Halloween on the High Seas!
- September 2020 the Disney Wonder will depart from San Diego to the cruise Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Sailing will be for two, three, four, and five nights, also featuring Halloween on the High Seas! There will be one special seven-night sailing to the Mexican Riviera and then a 14-night Panama Canal Crossing that departs Nov. 6, 2020.
- Late November 2020 the Disney Wonder will depart from Galveston, Texas, which will be the homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises. These cruises will sail to the Caribbean and Bahamas.
- Will continue to sail from Port Canaveral, FL and will have Halloween on the High Seas along with Very Merrytime Cruises. The Fantasy will be sailing three, four, five, six, seven, and eight night Bahamian and Caribbean cruises.
- Will continue to sail from Port Canaveral, FL and will have Halloween on the High Seas along with Very Merrytime Cruises. The Dream will be sailing three, and four night Bahamian cruises, including a day on Castaway Cay!
Platinum, Gold or Silver Castaway Club members, can take advantage of the opportunity to book fall 2020 itineraries before they go on sale to the general public on June 13, 2019. Contact your RTR Travel Professional to get started!
June 10, 2019: Platinum Members
June 11, 2019: Platinum and Gold Members
June 12, 2019: Platinum, Gold and Silver Members
June 13, 2019: all Guests
You can also fill out the Request for Quote form to have one of our Professionals reach out to you with a free quote. You can request it here!
Imagine the excitement when opening up the shades from our aft balcony room and getting the first site of Royal Caribbean’s $250 million-dollar transformation of Coco Cay. Royal Caribbean has gone all in by transforming their private island to include a new dock, thrilling waterpark, zip lines, and much more! In the midst of this transformation, Royal Caribbean also branded it the “Perfect Day at Coco Cay.”
My 16-year-old son Logan and I had the fortune to sail on Navigator of the Seas in early May and were the second sailing to experience the newly opened waterpark at Coco Cay. We had booked a waterpark cabana ahead time that included our tickets to the waterpark. The cabana price is good for 6 people. We stepped off the ship and made the short walk to the entrance of the waterpark. Entry was a breeze and we proceeded to the concierge hut to check into our cabana. We were greeted by our cabana attendant that escorted us and showed us the ins and outs of what was included. Each cabana includes water stored in a cooler that doubles as a table, usb outlets for charging, and lunch delivered from the Snack Shack.
Now that we were all checked in, I couldn’t delay the inevitable anymore….yep….Daredevil’s Peak! So, let’s summarize, I’m 41, in perfect dad shape, not so much a daredevil, but I put on a stone face to rock this slide! We took off to the tower and it’s a pretty good walk up, with each new level you could see further over the horizon. Fast forward, we are now 135’ up at the top and this easy going slide wraps around the tower all the way to the bottom. I of course let Logan go first and as I’m waiting the worker looks at me and wants to know if I’m a little scared. Who me? Not in the least, Royal Caribbean will want me for the rest of the cruise…I’m in good hands. So, I see the green light and conquer this behemoth….off I go and I must say it was an exhilarating ride down. I won’t spoil it for those that will ride, but I will say they did a great job of catching you off guard towards the end. After we conquered Daredevil’s Peak it was off to the other tower for more rides. A couple of tips for the waterpark based on our day. Sunscreen or rash guard is a must! I know this might be common knowledge, but the Bahamian sun is hot and it burns! Daredevil’s Tower is mostly shaded, but the Family Tower does have you in the sun a fair amount as you get closer to the top. Needless to say there were lots of Coco Cay human lobsters by the end of the day.
One last tip for the waterpark is you can leave and get back in if you want to explore more of the island. Lucky for you all, we did just that after our lunch. For those that aren’t big waterpark fans, there is still plenty to explore and do on Coco Cay. You can shop at the Straw Market, go hang out at the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, Oasis Lagoon, or enjoy a beach day at Chill Island. Later this year, South Beach Coco Beach Club will open giving you a few more options. We chose to spend time on Chill Island and then venture over to the Oasis Lagoon. Oasis Lagoon is definitely a party! There is a swim up bar, loungers in water, places to sit, you name it including submerged tunes! That’s right party people, you can get your jam on underwater with the DJ’s music playing. If you can’t dance on land, maybe underwater is your calling! You will not go hungry at all on Coco Cay and if you have a drink package the libations still flow or you can purchase with your Sea Pass card without a package. Basically, you are on the ship, just a ship on land. Also, towels are checked out prior to disembarking the ship and can be checked back in on embarkation.
Back to the original question at hand. Is Coco Cay really the Perfect Day? I will admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but Royal Caribbean hit a homerun with their remake. We loved the waterpark and were definitely happy that we still had time to explore the other parts of the island. Our only complaint is we weren’t ready to leave. Indeed, it was a Perfect Day at Coco Cay!!
Let's face it, at some point in time you have been at Walt Disney World and got that Chef Mickey's or Ohana's reservation that your child desperately wanted, but there was the fun issue of not staying at that resort. How much fun is it waking up before the sun comes up to make sure you were on time after you played the Disney transportation transfer game! Oh, let's not forget that if you choose the monorail from Magic Kingdom, you might hit the "We are holding for traffic" jackpot! Really what options do you have? If your child is in a car or booster seat, then using a cab or rideshare is not the option. You could have really planned ahead and rented a car, but then you have to add on parking fees, navigate Disney construction, and bring your car seats with you from home. So after all of this, maybe we all are really stuck on the transportation merry go round however, we haven't brought up this wonderful piece of transportation called the Minnie Van!
You are probably thinking to yourself, what is a Minnie Van? Is it a tricked out Chevy Astro better yet maybe a Ford Aerostar! The tricked out part is correct, as it will either be a SUV or Van that is decorated in a familiar color and pattern. You guessed it, they are modeled after the one and only Minnie Mouse! They are 6 passenger vehicles that are owned and operated by Disney and they include 2 car seats that are installed by drivers who have been trained on proper installation.
The next big question is how does this work? Does my Travel Professional have to make fastpass reservations for this in advance? Luckily for us, Disney has made this process very easy. If you have ever used Lyft or even Uber, you are going to be a pro. If you have not don't worry, I bet we can walk you through it. Disney uses the Lyft platform for Minnie Vans. For the rideshare pros, you call up your Lyft app and put your information in for pick up and drop off. You then move to the scroll to the right where you pick your vehicle and at the end you will see the option for the Minnie Van. Those that do not consider themselves pros, the picture below is what you will see in the app. Once your ride is confirmed, it will display the Minnie Van number that will be on the actual Minnie Van's back windows on each side. The driver will confirm your information and off you go!
It really is that simple to have Disney pick you up and provide door to door service. Also, don't forget, these are cast members and the conversation is always fun that may include fun tidbits along the way! One other big plus is they will pick you up from the parks and now they have dedicated pick up points at some of the bus areas. Maybe everyone has crashed and burned at Magic Kingdom and you really just want the quickest ride back to the resort. Taxi's, Lyft, and Uber will have to pick you up at the Transportation and Ticket Center so that means a trip there on a boat or monorail however, the Minnie Van can pick you up at the same Bus Loading area as the resort buses!
In closing, we have utilized the Minnie Van for various reasons throughout our stays. The cost is more than a normal rideshare, but again you get to forego renting a car, lugging carseats, and not doing the transportation hop. Let's not also forget you are in the hands of trained, knowledgeable, and fun Disney cast members! One last word of advice, make sure you ask for the special Disney Transport card! If you have taken a Minnie Van, we would love to hear your comments!
Co-Owner at Road to Relaxation Travel, LLC
Travis is co-owner of Road to Relaxation Travel, LLC along with his wife Crystal. Their family are avid travelers and spends time at all Disney Destinations, Universal, Cruises, and all-inclusive destinations. When he is not traveling with his family, he loves spending time at the beach and surfing with his son.
Sit back, relax in the comfort of your home and take a "virtual tour" to the amazing #Sandals AND #Beaches resorts. Join us as we explore the amazing sites of the #Caribbean and all that is part of a Luxury Included® Sandals or Beaches vacation. See photo's of the properties, learn how each one is unique and which one would be perfect for YOUR #Vacation, #Honeymoon or Destination #Wedding!
See why Sandals is the most awarded All Inclusive Resort and Beaches is the most awarded All Inclusive Family Resort ever! By attending and learning about the #Luxury included with your vacation, you will also be eligible for Caribbean Night incentives!
Register for this event at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/regist…/2908881548269639939
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your RTR Travel Professional. We look forward to you joining us on August 16th!
Owner, Crystal Seaton sits down with ABC 11 to discuss the advantages of using a Travel Professional to help you get the best value with your vacation.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.