Nov 12

One Disney Fan’s Take on the 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic Golf Tournament

Mickey Mouse Golf Cart Donald Duck

There are few places that I haven’t been on Walt Disney World property. I’ve been going as a day-tripper to Walt Disney World pretty much all my life, so when I heard about an opportunity that involved Disney, golf and Shades of Green I went all in!

Shades of Green…have you been there?  It’s the only Armed Forces Recreation Facility in the continental United States and it happens to be within the gates of the Walt Disney World Resort.  It also happens to be surrounded by two PGA Championship Golf Courses: Disney’s Palm and Magnolia.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to drop in on Shades of Green and the 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. This year marked the 43rd consecutive year that Disney’s Magnolia Course has hosted the PGA TOUR.  The setup for the event would appeal to both Disney and golf fans alike!  There are character meet and greets and streetmosphere performers. I especially enjoyed these two fellas…

disney golf streetmosphere performers

and it looks like they replicated some of the Disney topiaries seen around the parks.

Goose from outside Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

disney geese topiary

Pandas from China in Epcot‘s World Showcase…

disney panda topiary

The two giraffe from the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

disney giraffe topiary

and classics like Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

disney mickey minnie mouse topiary

There were also tons of local food trucks there, like the Yum Yum Truck! Cupcakes anyone?

Yum Yum Cupcake Truck

Disney Food Truck Lobster Golf Classic

Florida Blue was on hand giving out free massages!

free massage disney golf classic

This tournament and golf course are rich with history.  Here’s a fantastic story about Tiger Woods on the 1st tee…

Disney Magnolia Golf Tee 1 Tiger Woods

disney golf be quiet as a mouse

2012 disney childrens miracle network hospitals classic

The winner of the 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic was Charlie Beljan. Beljan, who battled through chest pains during the tournament, shot a -16 for the tournament to win the 42st annual PGA TOUR event. The rookie shot eight birdies Sunday to keep his three shot lead and capture the tournament title. The season finale win also secured Beljan a PGA TOUR card and moves him up to No. 63 on the Money List.

Charlie Beljan winner of the 2012 disney golf classic

This event is perfect for families. It’s held at a time of year when the weather is wonderful in Central Florida.  This year tickets for individual rounds were $20.  Badges for Classic week were $30 are were available at www.CMNHospitalsClassic.com or through www.ticketmaster.com. Proceeds benefited Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, and Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville. Certain days are complementary for Disney Passholders.  I hope you get the chance to come down and experience next year’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic for yourself.

2012 disney childrens miracle network hospitals classic golf ball tournament

Nov 12

2013 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Schedule at Walt Disney World

Atlanta Braves Disney VinylmationA lineup of marquee baseball teams, including the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers, will visit Walt Disney World for Atlanta Braves Spring Training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Braves, who earned a National League Wild Card berth in 2012, report to the complex for two weeks of training in early February, before opening at Champion Stadium on Feb. 22 against Detroit. The late February date marks the earliest start for Braves at Disney since the team arrived in 1997.

A pair of visits by the Yankees, Feb. 23 and March 16 (night game), a March 12 contest versus the Cardinals, and a March 18 game against the Philadelphia Phillies highlight the schedule.

The Washington Nationals and Tigers, both reigning playoff clubs, make up the core of the Braves’ 18-game home schedule at Champion Stadium. Each will play three games apiece at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Nationals visit Disney on Feb. 26, before a pair of night games, March 1 and March 21. The Tigers will also play under the lights March 7, along with day games Feb. 22 and March 3.

The 2013 slate also features the New York Mets twice, on March 15 and March 25, the Miami Marlins on February 25 and March 10, the Toronto Blue Jays on March 8 and Pittsburgh Pirates on March 20.

This year’s schedule will also include select promotional themed games, along with the traditional Disney family-oriented fun, including in-game entertainment, Disney character appearances and on-field fan experiences. Kids will again have the opportunity to run the bases after every game.

Individual game tickets for the Braves’ home spring training season go on sale Monday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster (800/745-3000 and ticketmaster.com) and at the sports complex box office.

Information on the Braves’ spring training season, group tickets and mini-packs is available by calling 407/939-GAME (4263) and online at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves.  The popular mini-packs are now on sale, featuring four separate three-game options for 2013 and giving fans their first opportunity to purchase tickets to specific games on the Braves’ 2013 spring training schedule.

Fans may also purchase Atlanta Braves Spring Training travel packages through Spring Training Tours.  Travel packages include Braves game tickets, accommodations at Walt Disney World Resort and other benefits.  Information is available online at www.Braves.com/springtravel.


2013 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Home Schedule



Opponent Time

Friday, Feb. 22

Detroit Tigers

1:05 PM

Saturday, Feb. 23

New York Yankees 1:05 PM

Monday, Feb. 25

Florida Marlins 1:05 PM

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Washington Nationals 1:05 PM

Friday, March 1

Washington Nationals

6:05 PM

Sunday, March 3

Detroit Tigers 1:05 PM

Thursday, March 7

Detroit Tigers 6:05 PM
Friday, March 8 Toronto Blue Jays 1:05 PM
Sunday, March 10 Miami Marlins 1:05 PM
Tuesday, March 12 St. Louis Cardinals 1:05 PM
Friday, March 15 New York Mets 1:05 PM
Saturday, March 16 New York Yankees 5:05 PM
Monday, March 18 Philadelphia Phillies 1:05 PM
Wednesday, March 20 Pittsburgh Pirates 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 21 Washington Nationals 6:05 PM
Saturday, March 23 Houston Astros 1:05 PM
Monday, March 25 New York Mets 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 28 Houston Astros 1:05 PM

All times are Eastern and are subject to change

All games to be played at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Nov 12

Disney’s Cinderella Castle to Transform into “Wreck it Ralph” Apartment Building

cinderella castle wreck it ralph disney

Walt Disney World Resort guests now thrill to a new nighttime show featuring “Wreck-It Ralph” and other Disney stories projected onto Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park. “Celebrate the Magic” incorporates favorite elements from the previous show, “The Magic, The Memories and You!,” with all-new music, storytelling and special effects.

Nov 12

Christmas Surprises at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

swan dolphin christmas santaThe Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels have some Christmas Magic planned for guests staying at the resort this holiday season!

Throughout the month of December at this Epcot resort hotel families can enjoy a unique holiday experience away from home!

This year’s holiday happenings at the hotel include:

Santa and Mrs. Claus Meet ‘n Greets

Select nights throughout December, Santa and Mrs. Claus, decked out in their vacation attire, will meet with guests in Santa’s customized Tiki hut. The hut features reindeer, palm trees and flamingos, making it a photo opportunity like no other. Plus, with Santa in such a relaxed state of mind, he might even be willing to grant more gift requests for those brave enough to ask!

Life-Size Chocolate Santa

Constructed entirely of chocolate, this life-sized sculpture of Santa weighs in at approximately 1,200 pounds! The sculpture, created by the hotel’s executive pastry chef Laurent Branlard (the only two-time world pastry champion), will be on display in the lobby of the Swan during the month of December. It will also include a chocolate fireplace, chocolate Christmas tree and chocolate toy train.

Bedtime Elf Tuck-ins

Even after Santa’s elves have finished making Christmas presents, their work isn’t finished! On Christmas Eve, the elves will visit children staying at the hotel and tuck them into bed before Santa arrives. For those who order this memorable experience, a full-costumed elf will deliver milk, cookies and a plush toy to the room, read a bedtime story and tuck the children into bed. Reservations are required and space is limited for this exclusive Christmas Eve service.

Holiday Entertainment

On select nights, the hotel will offer special holiday entertainment for visitors. Guests can enjoy beautiful musical performances by carolers, choirs and musicians in the hotel lobbies or on the causeway and other public areas throughout the resort.

Magic Keys for Santa

For children worried that Santa might not know where to deliver their gifts, these magic keys are the perfect solution. Children can hang a magic key outside their guest room on Christmas Eve to ensure that Santa finds his way.


Guests can enjoy a special tree-lighting ceremony in the Dolphin lobby on certain nights in December, hosted by Mrs. Claus herself! Beverages and snacks will be available next to Santa’s Tiki Hut.

Dessert Decorating and Holiday Movies

Throughout December, families will be able to enjoy holiday-themed movies on their guest room televisions. Children will also have the chance to decorate delicious holiday sweets in the lobby.

For more details about all the holiday excitement, including a full schedule of activities and prices, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel or to make room reservations, please visit www.santasfavoriteresort.com or call 1-800-227-1500. Overnight rates start at $159 per night.


Nov 12

Photo Tour of Our Room at the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Inn Resort

Until now, the extent of my knowledge of the inside of the rooms at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn was a quick pop in and out to pick up a bottle of wine from my girlfriend that she couldn’t take on the plane home with her.

I had never actually stayed at the Boardwalk Inn until this past weekend for the 2012 Wine and Dine Half Marathon. The Boardwalk Inn was the place that Running at Disney and I hung our sneakers for four nights while we ran, wined and dined. Check out our digs.

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

I have my qualms with the comfort of the beds at the value resorts but this bed was so comfy!

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Well hello Hidden Mickey towel art. You make my Disney vacation complete!

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Can you believe we didn’t turn this flat screen TV on ONCE during our stay…not even to see Stacey! Too much to do…too little time.

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Pretty sure this couch turns into a bed, but there were only us two girls and it was efficient in holding our gear.

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

We did, however utilize this oversized balcony!

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

…and this mini fridge held two gallons of water so we could stay hydrated for our runDisney race!

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Super cute Minnie lamp on the desk!

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Can you spot the Hidden Mickeys in the shower curtain?

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Hidden Mickey details on the frosted lamps and mirrors in the bathroom area as well.

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

All the art in the room was themed as an Atlantic City-style seaside resort would be.

walt disney world boardwalk inn room

Probably the best part about the Boardwalk Inn rooms was the proximity to so many great things! Like Boardwalk Pizza, ESPN Club, Kouzzina and of course walking distance to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

amanda tinney sarah mcgovern disney boardwalk

Sarah and I having too much fun.

Have you stayed at the Boardwalk Inn or DVC section of the resort? What did you think?

Special thanks to Disney for hosting this stay at the Boardwalk Inn. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.