20 Tips for Visiting DisneyWorld

So, if you follow me on social media, you know that I love Disney. My family and I go there often, and in fact, my husband and I even go there for dates.  We’re large children at heart, apparently.

Since we live in Central Florida now, we have annual passes– which means that I’m very experienced at some tricks for making your visit more enjoyable.  I thought I’d share!

  1.  Make sure you have the Disney App.  It allows you to make fast passes, dining reservations, check wait times, etc.
  2. Make fast passes on your app or computer.  You get to make three at a time, and when you’ve ridden all three attractions, you can make new fast passes at a kiosk.  It’s more convenient to get a magic band, rather than using your plastic card ticket.

magic bands

3.  Look for the “hidden mickeys”.  They are hidden in various places throughout the park– in the form of paint rings, sculptures, rock art, etc.

Hidden Mickeys

4.  Make Fastpasses for rides like The Mine Train, and Peter Pan (Magic Kingdom), and Soarin’ (Epcot) as far in advance as you can.  They sell out fast, and the stand-by lines reach 80 minutes regularly.

5.  If it’s your birthday, stop by guest relations and get a birthday button.  Cast members will be wishing you a Happy Birthday all day long– which makes your day even more special.

6.  If you’re a woman, and don’t absolutely need to take your purse in, don’t.  Then you can skip the bag check lines at the gate.

7.  The best place to see tons of princess is the Breakfast buffet in Norway.  Plus you get yummy food for Breakfast!

Norway breakfast

8.  I personally think the best times to go to D-World (in terms of lighter crowds) are September, November and February.   Christmas, Spring Break and Summer are crazy busy.

9.  It’s ALWAYS least busy at night.  We like to make fast-passes for the evening, and arrive at 6:00-ish and stay til 11:00-ish.  If you’re a fireworks fan, they put on the best show– every night.

10.  Ride lines are shorter during parades.  So if you’re not the biggest parade fan (we’re not), then skip the parade and hop on rides.

11.  At Epcot, ride the Spaceship Earth in the afternoon or evening. Since it’s right inside the gate, many people will get in line as they go in, and stand there for a long time.  So skip that one and ride it on your way out- or make a fast-pass.

spaceship earth

12.  There’s an entrance to Animal Kingdom through Rain Forest Cafe. So if lines are really long, cut through the restaurant.

13.  Best places to eat at Animal Kingdom:  Tusker House, and The Yak and the Yeti.  Both places are fairly expensive, but delicious.

14.  The Beast’s castle in Magic Kingdom is awesome– and it contains the Be Our Guest restaurant.  You need reservations for dinner (and make these months ahead of time), but you can usually walk in for lunchtime.  Make sure you get the Gray Stuff (Master’s cupcake) for dessert. It’s delicious!

beast's castle

15.  Don’t overlook riding the People Mover in Tomorrowland.  It’s a great way to rest your feet, cool off, and see attractions. We ride it every time.

16.  One of my favorite roller-coasters ever is the Rock n’ Rollercoaster in Hollywood Studios.  Try to make a funny face during the take-off, that’s when they snap the picture.  It accelerates so fast, that I can never manage to keep my eyes open during the beginning.

Rock n Roller Coaster

17.  If you go during winter months, truly– pack a jacket.  You think that Florida never gets chilly, but it does at night, and especially if it rains.  Pack a small umbrella, too.

Mine Train

18. Wear comfortable shoes, and take a ponytail holder.  I know it’s tempting to want to look cute– you’re on vacation, I get it.  But trust me, it’s humid here.  You might spend an hour curling or straightening your hair, but the humidity is going to spoil it within an hour.  Wear a ponytail or mom-bun.  And skip the fancy sandals.  Wear tennis shoes.  Thank me later.

19.  Don’t skip the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom. The presidents are so lifelike.  It’s a great ride to go on when it rains.

20.  When you ride Thunder Mountain– if you like to go faster, sit toward the back. If you like to go slower, sit at the front.  You can request that of the person placing you in line.

thunder mountain

 

Most of all, keep hydrated and have fun.  It’s going to be busy, it’s going to be crowded.  But it IS the happiest place on earth.

DisneyWorld arch

Day 2 of IYS Two Year Anniversary Shennanigans!

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Happy Day two of the Two Year Anniversary of IF YOU STAY!

Woohooooo!

Today, we’re having a graphic meme contest, which I have to tell you, is usually my favorite of all contests.  I love seeing the artsy things that everyone comes up with!

For today, create a graphic meme using one of these quotes:

  • “She’s a breath of fresh air.  I may be the big bad wolf, but even wolves need to breathe.”
  • “You’ve seen me at my worst.  Maybe you should see me at my best.” “And when are you at your best?” “In bed.”
  • “I need him to breathe.”

You can share the meme on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but make sure to tag it with #LoveNeverFails so that we can find it when we’re choosing winners.  We’ll choose Three winners next Friday, so this contest will last for a week.  🙂

Good luck!  I can’t wait to see your #LoveNeverFails memes!  🙂

NOCTE is on sale for $.99!!

Hey guys,

Just thought I’d tell you… NOCTE (book one in the Nocte Trilogy) is on sale for the first time!  It’s only 99 pennies!

If you’re in the mood to have your mind bent, download it now!

NOCTE-cover-300px

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half– my twin brother, my Finn– is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.
He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.

ForewordLetter
Also, don’t forget… VERUM, book two in the Trilogy, is coming on February 2!!  Are you scared?  I am.  🙂

Merry Christmas from Courtney Cole

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I’ve been seeing so many sad posts on social media lately, for some reason.  There are a lot of folks out there who are going through hard times, who have lost their jobs, or a family member, or who life is just knocking around a little bit.

It made me reflective as I sat down this morning to write my husband our annual “Christmas Letter.”

Our Christmas letter is a tradition.  It stems from years ago, back to the first few years we were married.  We simply didn’t have the money to buy each other gifts.  We were just starting out and trying to build a life and money was so tight.   But we had paper and pens, and so in lieu of gifts, we wrote each other a letter… telling each other what we loved about each other, what we were looking forward to, etc.   Christmas felt bleak back then, because we didn’t have anything to open on Christmas morning, but we had each other.  And that always kept us going.

These days,  things have changed.  I’ve worked hard to achieve my dreams, and so far, it’s working out for me.  We DO have gifts on Christmas morning, but more importantly, we still have each other. And an amazing family.   We’ve built a life that we love, and that is more important than any gift under a tree could ever be.

So, I just wanted you to know.  If you are having a hard time right now… it will pass.  Keep working toward your dreams….keep building your life, keep reaching for the things you want the most.   Because trust me, one of these days, you’ll grab that dream.  You’ll have it in your hand, and all of the sacrifices along the way will have been worth it.

I leave you with this.   We opened up an early Christmas gift here at Casa Cole, and my daughter chose to open up her brother’s gift to her.  It was a bracelet that he tooled from leather himself– a handmade gift.   The result?   A Christmas miracle.   A sibling hug.  🙂

T and Elle Christmas

No matter what your religious affiliation is… I hope this season is beautiful for you.  I hope you are able to reflect on the people who matter…. on the things that make you happy.

I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, and that 2015 brings you amazing things!

XOXO,

Courtney

Questions about NOCTE

Hey guys!

So as you know, my new book, NOCTE released yesterday.  I’m SO LOVING all of the awesome things that you guys are saying!  Your reviews are AWESOME and I’ve been reading every one of them. Thank you!!

I have been getting quite a few questions about NOCTE, though.  And several bloggers have been approached with them, too.  So, I thought I’d make a convenient list of the questions we’re hearing.

Q:  I am using a Kindle to read NOCTE, and at various places in the book, there’s an image of a camera.  Is there supposed to be a picture there?  

A:  Yes.  We embedded some cool symbols into Finn’s journals.  Some readers are seeing the symbols, and some can”t for some reason.   These symbols are NOT integral to the story- they are just a detail that I thought was cool.  In fact, here they are:

 

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Q:  Will NOCTE be on sale soon (for $.99)?  

A:   No, it won’t. You don’t have to worry that you’re going to buy it today for $3.99 and then tomorrow it will be on sale for $.99.  We have no sales planned for this book for the foreseeable time.

 

Q:  I bought the Nook version through Barnes and Noble and the formatting looks wonky… there are weird spaces and strange indents.  

A:  We’re looking into this.  The file uploaded onto B&N was perfectly formatted.  It appears that somehow during the file conversion process, something went awry.  We’ve got a help ticket into B&N right now, and hopefully they can help get this straightened out.

 

Q:  I’ve heard there’s a cliff-hanger. Is it a bad one? 

A:  The issues that drive the storyline of NOCTE are resolved by the end of the book.  At the end of the book, another question is posed that will be answered in book two, VERUM.

Q:  Ugh, I hate the idea of a series right now!  I wish it was a standalone.  How many books will be in the series?

A:  I’m sorry if you’re against a series right now.  Lol.  Some people prefer stand-alones, and some people actually like series because they get to become very invested in the characters.  When I first started writing NOCTE, it was actually only going to be one book.  But as I continued writing it, it became clear that there was too much to the story to contain in just one book.  There will be three books, NOCTE, VERUM and LUX.   You can learn more about them here.  

Q:  What do those titles mean?

A:  NOCTE means “by night” in Latin.  VERUM means “true” or “the truth”, and LUX means “light”.

 

Q:  What is Dare’s question????? 

A. I can’t tell you that.  Yet.  Stay tuned for VERUM.

 

I think that about does it! But I’ll update this list as needed.

I hope you’re all loving NOCTE!   In case you haven’t downloaded it yet, here are the links:

Barnes and Noble:  www.smartURL.it/NOCTEBN