Getting Your House Ready For a Disney Vacation

When heading to Disney for a *MAGICAL* vacation the last thing you want to worry about is your house while you are gone. Getting your house ready for a Disney vacation is just as important as booking flights and buying park tickets. No one wants the added stress of thinking you forgot something. By following these steps you won’t forget anything and your vacation will be stress free… at least when it comes to your house. Continue reading “Getting Your House Ready For a Disney Vacation”

Disney Parks Moms Panel Search Starts Now!

Written by Sue Nowicki

Disney Parks Moms Panel

It’s no secret the MouseQuest started as a rag-tag group of Disney Parks Moms Panel rejects. By sharing our journey to join this allusive club on message boards, Facebook, Twitter and ultimately this podcast and blog, we found our ‘people‘. We have chEARed each other on and commiserated together every time one of those dreaded “Thanks but no thanks” rejections came. Nowhere in any competition ever will you find a group of more supportive competitors as you will in the Moms Panel search.

Continue reading “Disney Parks Moms Panel Search Starts Now!”

Disney Lingo for Newbies

Written by Dawn Gosdin – Updated 3/22/2017

This post contains affiliate links. If you chose to buy a recommended product, the MouseQuest will receive a small comission. 

Disney Acronyms

Being a Disney Parks fan means you will come across MANY abbreviations and acronyms which you may, or may not, understand. Here is a comprehensive list of these Disney-related abbreviations which everyone planning any type of Disney vacation needs to know.


ABD – Adventures By Disney
ARS – Aulani Resort & Spa
DCL – Disney Cruise Line
DLP – Disneyland Paris
DLR – Disneyland Resort
DVC – Disney Vacation Club
HH – Hilton Head
VB – Vero Beach
WDW – Walt Disney World


AKL – Animal Kingdom Lodge
AKV – Animal Kingdom Villas (DVC)
AOA – Art of Animation
ASMu – All Star Music
ASMo – All Star Movies
AS – All Star Sports
BC – Beach Club
BCV – Beach Club Villas (DVC)
BLT – Bay Lake Tower (DVC)
BRV – Boulder Ridge Villas (DVC)
BWI – Boardwalk Inn
BWV-Boardwalk Villas (DVC)
CBR – Caribbean Beach Resort
CCV – Copper Creek Villas (DVC)
CSR – Coronado Springs Resort
CR – Contemporary Resort
FW – Fort Wilderness
GF – Grand Floridian
KV – Kidani Village (section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
OKW – Old Key West
PC – Pop Century
POR – Port Orleans Riverside
POFQ – Port Orleans French Quarter
POLY – Polynesian
SSR – Saratoga Springs Resort
SOG – Shades of Green (Military Resort onsite)
S&D – Swan & Dolphin Resort
THV – Treehouse Villas (at Saratoga Springs) (DVC)
VGF – Grand Floridian Villas (DVC)
VWL – Wilderness Lodge Villas (DVC)
WL – Wilderness Lodge
YC – Yacht Club

DLH – Disneyland Hotel
GCH – Grand Californian
PPH – Paradise Pier


AK – Animal Kingdom
BB – Blizzard Beach
DHS – Disney Hollywood Studios
DTD/DS – Downtown Disney/Disney Springs
EP – Epcot
MK – Magic Kingdom
TL – Typhoon Lagoon
WWOS – Wide World of Sports (Sports Complex)


7DMT – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
BTMR – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
FoF – Festival of Fantasy parade
FoP – Flight of Passage
HEA – Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular
HM – Haunted Mansion
HoP – Hall of Presidents
IaSM – It’s a Small World
POTC – Pirates of the Caribbean
ROL – Rivers of Light
RnR – Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster
TSMM – Toy Story Midway Mania
ToT – Tower of Terror
TT – Test Track
TTA – Tomorrowland Transit Authority


DCA – Disney’s California Adventure
LAX – Los Angeles International Airport
LGB – Long Beach Airport
MHP – Mickey’s Halloween Party
ROA – Rivers of America
SNA – John Wayne Airport/Orange County
WoC – World of Color


ADR – Advanced Dining Reservation
B&C – Beaches & Cream
BOG – Be Our Guest
CG – California Grill
CM – Chef Mickeys
CP – Crystal Palace (sometimes also the abbreviation for the Candlelight Processional)
CRT – Cinderella’s Royal Table
DDP – Disney Dining Plan
HDDR – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
H&V – Hollywood & Vine
OOP – Out-of-Pocket
QS – Quick Service
TIW – Tables in Wonderland (previously DDE – Disney Dining Experience)
TS – Table Service
V&A – Victoria & Albert’s


AP – Animator’s Palate
CC – Castaway Cay
FE – Fish Extender (DCL Family Gift Exchange)
GTY – Guarantee
IGT – Inside Guarantee
OGT – Oceanview Guarantee
PC – Port Canaveral
VGT – Verandah Guarantee


FP+ – FastPass+
MB – MagicBand
MDE – My Disney Experience
MYW – Magic Your Way (Park Ticket)
MM – Memory Maker
PH – Park Hopper
WPF&M – Water Park Fun & More ticket option


AP – Annual Pass
APR – Annual Pass Rate
CM – Cast Member
DME – Disney Magical Express
DRC – Disney Reservation Center
ECV – Electric Convenience Vehicle
EMH – Extra Magic Hour
EWP – Electrical Water Pageant
F&G – Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
F&W – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
IG – International Gateway (Entrance to EPCOT from Boardwalk)
KTTW – Key to the World Card (not used much anymore at WDW due to invention of MagicBands – still used on DCL)
TTC – Transportation & Ticket Center
MCO – Orlando International Airport
MNSSHP – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (seasonal extra purchase)
MVMCP – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (seasonal extra Purchase)
PAP – Premium Annual Pass
SWW – Star Wars Weekend
WS – World Showcase


BIL – Brother in law
DBF – Disney Boyfriend
DF – Disney Fiancé
DGF – Disney Girlfriend
DH – Disney Husband
DW – Disney Wife
DD – Disney Daughter
DS – Disney Son
FIL – Father in Law
MIL – Mother in Law
SIL – Sister in Law

Previously published on ~ and

Dawn is married to her BFF Ryan and is privileged to be a stay-at -ome Mom/Writer/Blogger to her seventeen-year-old daughter Princess Peyton and future Imagineer son fifteen-year-old Logan. In their eyes a family that Disney’s together, stays together. They have enjoyed Walt Disney World many times, including the breathtaking Aulani Resort & Spa on the beautiful island of Oahu.

Other posts by this author:
Child Safety While at Walt Disney World
Epcot After Hours Wind Down
Important Facts About Disney Cruise Line

Disney Lingo for Newbies

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas: All the Comforts of Home with an Adventurous Flair

Written by Kate Melody

A trip to a Disney Park is always filled with magic, but for those that like to extend that magic throughout their entire vacation, I always recommend staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Our family enjoys staying on property so much, that in 2009 we joined Disney Vacation Club (DVC). Our home resort is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, and it is not just our “home” away from home, but our absolute favorite Disney World Resort!

Kate at entranceAnimal Kingdom Villas are part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, set on a 43 acre wildlife preserve on the south side of Disney property. Over 30 species of animal roam the savannas. Villas are available as Deluxe Studios, 1 and 2 Bedroom Villas and Grand Villas that sleep up to 12! Deluxe Studios have a kitchenette, while 1 Bedroom and larger Villas have a full kitchen, washer and dryer. One of the advantages of Animal Kingdom Villas is the wide variety of room types and locations available. In additional to the room size, you can also choose from value rooms at Jambo House which have a smaller square footage but are a great bargain, standard view rooms, savanna view rooms and even concierge level accommodations at Jambo House. Villas are found at both the main lodge, Jambo House, and at adjacent Kidani Village. The Jambo House rooms were converted from traditional resort rooms, but Kidani Village was built specifically as villa accommodations.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is arguably one of the best themed resorts on property and Imagineers have done everything in their power immerse the guest in the feeling that they are no longer in Florida, but at a far off African lodge. Stepping off the bus after a busy day in the parks, you are welcomed home by quiet lantern light, tropical flora and the sound of distant drum beats. Inside the theme continues and the resort boasts one of the largest collections of authentic African art outside the continent. No resort is perfect for every family and the two biggest concerns families have regarding Animal Kingdom Villas are that the decor and lighting are very dark and that some of the savanna view rooms can be an exceptionally long walk from the lobby. Personally, I find the deep hues of the resort to be restful, and that long walk means an extra Dole Whip, right?

It is often joked that after parents put buckets of money and effort into a Disney vacation, all the kids want to do is swim at the resort. This may be a definite risk at Animal Kingdom Villas! Pools at both Jambo and Kidani feature a zero entry area, water slide and hot tub. Kidani Village offers an interactive water play area with a small slide, climbing and splashing areas, even a spot to have a water fight with your siblings! I have found this play area to be wonderful for our children as toddlers. I could stay with them, but let them have a little more independence than I would in the pool.

AK ActivitiesCast Members from Africa are available on the rock outlooks as animal guides and lead numerous educational and cultural activities during the day. One of the perks of the resort is the sheer number of activities that are available. Culinary tours of the restaurants, an evening drum lesson, folktales in the library, poolside evening movie, conservation games for the kids, the traditional afternoon pool party and crafts and games available in Community Hall are just some of the offerings.

Food options at the resort are plentiful and a nice change from traditional theme park menus. There is one quick service eatery, The Mara, and it is located at Jambo House. Also at Jambo House are two table service restaurants. Boma is a buffet that is considered to be one of the best on property, and Jiko is one of Disney’s signature dining experiences. Kidani Village is home to Sanaa, a hidden gem among table service restaurants. The bread service is highly recommended and windows that overlook the savanna add to the experience. It is often available without a reservation!

While Animal Kingdom Villas are located on the southern side of the property, don’t let the distance dissuade you. We have found the bus service to be excellent, and the overall bus journey is similar to that of other resorts where the bus makes more stops. When booking your next Disney vacation consider Animal Kingdom Villas, where you can take a journey into African culture with all the comforts of home. We are already anxiously awaiting our February 2015 trip home!

A mommy of four by day and a labor and delivery nurse by night, Kate believes a little dose of Disney makes every day better. Kate is a lifelong Disney fan and after introducing her husband to the magic of Disney Parks, their family became Disney Vacation Club members in 2009. You can find Kate as a guest here and on the MouseQuest Podcast, writing for the WDW Daily News newsletter and on twitter at @Dizkrazkate.

Episode 88: 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel Search Preview

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 88. As we approach the beginning of September, one thing is on the minds of so many Disney fans: The Disney Parks Moms Panel Application Process. Year after year, we pour our hearts into each answer, each video and interview. We push ourselves to allow our passion and dedication for Disney shine through as we face multiple roller-coaster rounds of craziness. In about 3 months the blood, sweat and tears will culminate in the selection of a chosen few to make up the 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel. Will you be one of them? Join us this week as we talk about our past experiences with the application process, what we know so far about this year’s process and our speculation of things to come. Questions this week include:

  • What is the Disney Parks Moms Panel?
  • What do we currently know about this year’s search?
  • Purely for speculation – what do you think the process is going to be like this year?
  • What is your favorite part about the process? Least favorite?
  • What is your #1 piece of advice you can offer someone who is looking to apply this year?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and Marci Smith.

Connect with us!

MouseQuest on Twitter: @MQPodcast

Amy Bechtol on Twitter: @uccats97

Dawn Gosdin on Twitter: @logpey Blog: Dawn’s Dorky Diary

Rich Grady on Twitter: @michigansahd

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to

Grand Floridian DVC: A Review

Written By – Marge Gerwels



When I was given the task of writing an article about my favorite Disney Vacation Club® resort, my initial thought was “I can only choose one?” The Disney Vacation Club® (DVC) resorts that we have visited have all been a wonderful experience, however my most favorite is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa has been around since 1988, and was originally called Grand Floridian Beach Resort but changed its name to Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in 1997. The resort was designed to resemble the Victorian Era resorts built along Florida’s east coast during the late 1800’s. The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA inspired the red gabled roofs and white exterior of the resort. Last fall, the doors opened to the much-anticipated DVC addition to the resort and guests flocked to be one of the first to catch a glimpse of the new DVC villas.

This past February, I was able to convince my husband to stay at the new DVC villas. It has always been a dream of mine to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, but to be honest, it’s pricey, and with our growing family, it was really never an option. So, I was extremely excited to hear the news that Disney Vacation Club® was expanding to include my dream resort and I was thrilled when all of my….ahem…”discussing” paid off as I convinced my husband that we should spend the points and stay there during our Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend trip.

So what’s it like? It’s big, and beautiful, and offers the same great accommodations and service you expect with a Disney Vacation Club® resort. DVC guests check in at the main desk located in the lobby of the resort’s main building. I have walked into that lobby many, many times and I am still mesmerized by the majestic features found through out the main building. The new building that is host the DVC villas is located on the south end of the resort property and is separated from the main building by the pool area. Since we had to walk past it to get to our villa, the pool area was the first thing we noticed and holy cow was it incredible! The pool itself is nice and has a water slide, but the main attraction to this area is Alice’s Splash Zone. This shallow splash pad has two little slides, sprinklers, buckets, and the main attraction—the Mad Hatter’s Hat. This gigantic hat fills with water at the top of the play area. When the hat is full it tips, dumping its contents on, sometimes unsuspecting, visitors. We must have stood there for 20 minutes just watching that hat fill and dump on the waders below. When we finally did tear ourselves away from the “show”, we were just a short walk from the entrance to the DVC building.


The lobby of the DVC building definitely pales in comparison to the lobby of the resort’s main building, but it is still beautiful. The best part of the lobby is most certainly the penguin fountain located right in the center. I loved that fountain. It was the first thing we would see before we would exit the resort for our Disney day and it is the last thing we would see before turning in at night. The penguins depicted in the fountain are the penguin characters from the movie Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins has always been one of my favorite Disney Characters (I think because she had the ULTIMATE handbag), so seeing that fountain everyday really made my visit a little more magical.


Since we have a big family, we reserved a 2-bedrrom villa. I had figured that the interior of our villa would be similar other DVC resorts at which we have stayed. However, upon opening the door to our villa every single one of us let out an audible “wow”. The door opens to a good-sized foyer and leads guests to the two-bed bedroom on the left, to the master bath on the right and into the kitchen area straight ahead. The foyer was spacious and it was big enough to park both our strollers and be the designated “shoe dump” area for seven people and it still had enough room for us to walk through easily! The kitchen was modern and spacious and had booth seating around the kitchen table. The kitchen contains just about all of the common items and appliances you would find at home-toaster, coffee pot, dishes, pots and pans…etc. The layout of the kitchen/living area is open and very bright. The kitchen opens into the living room where guests will not only find traditional furnishings but also a cabinet door that contains a secret hideaway bed. The villa is decorated tastefully and has several “Mary Poppins” themed items—which I loved, of course.

IMG_5859We had a lake view villa so the sliding doors led to the balcony that overlooks Bay Lake. The balcony stretches the entire length of the villa and each bedroom has a sliding glass door that opened out to the balcony. It was a beautiful place to watch the sunrise, the Electrical Water Pageant, or just to look out across Bay Lake.

The bedrooms in the villa were similar to other DVC resorts. The master bedroom had a king sized bed where as the second bedroom had two queen beds. Each bedroom was decent sized and had plenty of room to store all of our things—no easy feat with 7 people. The big “wow” elements, at least for our family, was the claw foot tub in the master bath and the TV’s inside the mirrors of the bathroom. Yes, IMG_5860TV’s–IN THE BATHROOM! –not that my kids need, yet another reason, to take more time in the bathroom. The TV’s are located in the corner of the mirror so it was easy to still brush your teeth or put on make up utilizing the mirror while the TV was on. It was really one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The second bathroom, on the second bedroom side of the villa, actually contained a shower and a shower/tub combo. This was extremely convenient when trying to get everyone bathed.

So the villas were great, getting to the pool area is a breeze, and the DVC building is just a short walk away (if you cut through the pool area) from resort’s restaurants and shopping. The one drawback that we found with the DVC villas is the walk to get to transportation. In order to get on the Monorail or any of the resort busses, you do need to walk back to the main building. It isn’t a terribly long walk, but can seem like one for little feet at the end of a long day. The walkway between the main building and the DVC villas is covered, which is a plus, so if it’s raining, which happens quite a bit in Florida, you do not have to make a mad dash between raindrops. You can also take a water taxi to Disney’s Magic Kingdom or to Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Boat travel is always a hit with my gang so we used that mode of transportation quite a bit.

DVC guests can take advantage of the many amenities Disney’s Grand Florida Resort and Spa has to offer. From fishing and boat rentals to private cabanas and spa appointments there is something for everyone. They even have a campfire marshmallow roast at dusk and nightly movies on the beach. If you have yet to experience a movie on the beach, I highly recommend it. It’s a unique experience, lounging on a beach chair, watching a Disney movie. It’s one of those things that you would probably never do at home and should most definitely take advantage of while on vacation.


Some people have commented that the overall atmosphere of the resort is “stuffy”. I did not find that to be true at all. I think some may get that impression simply due to the fact that the resort is designed to mimic the Victorian style resorts in which the elite used to vacation in back in the late 1800’s. Perhaps the Victorian design may give some folk the impression that this resort, too, is for the “elite”, but that is simply not the case. We found the resort to be relaxing and comfortable and the service outstanding. We absolutely LOVED staying at the Disney Vacation Club® Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. We would most certainly stay there again, although since the number of DVC points needed for a stay is quite high, I am sure I will still have to do a little nagging…I mean…discussing…with my husband. ☺ But for now, I am most certainly glad we were able to enjoy the villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It was an incredible experience.

Episode 51: One Year Anniversary Show

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 51. This week we will are celebrating a great milestone for us – the one-year anniversary of the show! We’ve answered lots of questions, discussed many different topics and today we’ll talk about our favorites and maybe some new and interesting ideas for the future. Questions this week include:

  • What have you learned since we first started podcasting?
  • What was your favorite topic, show or question that we covered?
  • What was your least favorite show we did? Was anything really difficult for you to answer or do research on?
  • Are there any topics you’d like to cover in the future or think need to be addressed?
  • Is there anything new you think could be done on the podcast?
  • Which do you think was the most popular episode?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, David Smith, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to

Episode 14: Disney Vacation Club

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 14. In this episode, we are answering questions about the Disney Vacation Club. Questions this week include:

  • What is the Disney Vacation Club?
  • How much does a membership cost?
  • How many vacation points should I get?
  • How does the process of using points, banking, borrowing and holding work?
  • What is the difference between the Disney, Passport and Concierge Collections?
  • Which resorts at the Disney Parks (WDW and Disneyland) are DVC Resorts?
  • What are the different room types available for members using their DVC points at a Disney Resort?
  • How is booking a vacation in the Disney Collection different than the Passport and Concierge Collections?
  • What is the difference between buying points through Disney directly or the resale market?
  • Will a DVC Membership work for my family?
  • Does Disney offer any perks for DVC Members?
  • Where can the listeners find more information about Disney Vacation Club?

Appearing this week are James Cameron, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, Amy Leto, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to