Ticket Giveaway - The New One

I'm excited to share yet another fabulous giveaway, this time for 2 opening night tickets on September 25th at 7:30 to see The New One at the National Theater in Washington, DC!  This show is direct from Broadway and is getting rave reviews as a wonderfully entertaining and comedic night out.  Find out more about the show here:



He’s made you laugh in Sleepwalk With Me (it was a play presented by Nathan Lane, then a movie, THEN a book), My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and “Thank God for Jokes.” (He was also really funny in that one season of “Orange is the New Black.” And in “Billions.” And “Broad City.”) Now he’s direct from Broadway, telling a new story in a new way with the same heart and humor we’ve come to expect. Lin-Manuel Miranda called THE NEW ONE “as perfect a night as you’re gonna get.” Do not miss THE NEW ONE. Some people say it’s his best one. (It was John Mulaney. Also Vogue.) Run time: Approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes, no intermission. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Children under the age of four are not permitted to attend the show.

Sounds fun, right?  So how do you win tickets??  It's simple!  This giveaway is exclusively through my Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/runonpixiedust.  You get one entry each for:
  • Liking the post about this giveaway
  • Commenting on the post about this giveaway
  • Each friend you tag in a comment on this Facebook post
  • Sharing this post!
In order to be eligible to win, you must "Like" my Facebook page as well.  The entry period will be open Wednesday, 9/18 until 10PM on Thursday, 9/19.  I'll go LIVE Friday evening on Facebook to draw a winner.  Good luck and I look forward to seeing what lucky follower gets to have an amazing night out! 

Thanks to Allied Global Marketing for the opportunity to host this giveaway!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

At the D23 Expo a few weeks ago, the newest Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage was released to excited crowds.  I was one of the many anxiously awaiting the next look at this upcoming film releasing in December 2019, but little could prepare me for some of my own big reactions and unanswered questions.  Take a look at the trailer here and then let's look at 3 questions I'm waiting to have answered on this next journey to a galaxy far, far away.



Why is this film called "The Rise of Skywalker"? - OK.  So I guess this question didn't come EXACTLY from this footage as it's been on my mind for a while, but I find myself still speculating about all the things "The Rise of Skywalker" could mean.  Do we finally find out more about Rey's parents?  Is Kylo Ren as Anakin's grandson rising to power and creating an even larger Dark Side Empire?  Are we looking back to look forward?  This special look does incorporate footage from past films, as well as throwbacks to the Empire and Darth Vader and JJ Abrams has commented on seeing this as not only the final film in this trilogy, but a conclusion to all nine.  I'm not sure what it all means yet, but I'm sure that Star Wars fans everywhere will flock to theaters to find out!

Movie images from Walt Disney Studios
What will Leia's role be in this film? - With the passing of Carrie Fisher before the filming of Episode IX was completed, the production team had to get creative with how to use previously recorded footage of Leia to work into the film.  Leia has been a strong figure in both Episode VII and VIII, so we'll have to see how she factors into this newest chapter.  The footage here shows here in an area where it also looks like Rey is training in another clip.  Is Leia training Rey?  Preparing her for the rise of girl power on the Light Side?  Maybe to take over as a new general for the resistance?  I have to admit, I get a little teary eyed each time I watch this special look, but we know that her impact is strongly felt.

What's up with Dark Side Rey? - There is just that fleeting moment, but it's intense, where we see Rey donning the black robe and that switchblade red lightsaber.  I don't know about you, but I immediately had flashbacks to Darth Maul.  With the Emperor's voice, Darth Vader's breath, and clear channeling of the Dark Side, there is so much speculation.  Did Rey actually fall to the Dark Side? Is this a clone? A vision?  I can't wait to find out!  And, confession, I don't know what I actually WANT it to mean.  Could we really go through nine episodes of good vs. evil to find out evil wins the day?  Wouldn't that be a plot twist?!?

I'm not sure what the answers to any of these questions are, but I do know that I am anxiously awaiting the release of this film to complete the Skywalker saga.  Make sure you are following Star Wars on all of the social media channels to keep up with the latest news and releases!

#TheRiseofSkywalker
@StarWars

I'm Going! - The Geekly Retreat 2019

Whether we have heard that "a dream is wish your heart makes" or "dream big princess," I've always believed that anything is possible.  And this past week, I had some very exciting news land in my inbox!  Proving that dreams really do come true, I'm happy to share that I've been invited to attend the first ever Geekly Retreat.

So, what's the Geekly Retreat?  This is an incredible opportunity that was organized by the talented ladies over at The Geekly Show.  These women have joined forces to become a powerhouse group of bloggers and influencers when it comes to entertainment news.  They have put together a retreat that is allowing several lucky bloggers to join them on an adventure in California that will include networking, writing workshops, and some pretty incredible entertainment opportunities!

My blogging journey began almost 6 years ago (can that possibly be right?!?) and I never thought it would take me this far.  I began sharing as Adventures of a Disney Loving Mom in 2014 where I really created this space as purely a spot to share Disney vacation planning information and reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions at Disney Parks locations.  The first big boost for my blog was in 2015 when I was invited to a Disney Social Media Moms On-The-Road Celebration in New York City.  It was here that I heard from social media experts and met with a number of likeminded men and women who helped me see a bigger future for myself.  I decided to re-brand my blog as Running on Pixie Dust as my content began expanding to more than just Disney vacations which has brought me to where I am today - sharing all of my favorite details related to family, travel, fitness, and Disney!  Of course, entertainment content is a part of what I share and I look forward to learning more at this retreat to grow that area of my coverage even more!

And, now, here we are!  I am so humbled and honored to have been invited to this retreat and still find that I'm pinching myself waiting to wake up from this dream.  Just as incredible as the itinerary is the list of bloggers attending.  I've had the pleasure of meeting several of them in person, and have been excitedly following many others for years.  In fact, one of my fellow founders of the Mid-Atlantic Moms-On-The-Go Community is also attending!  Take a minute to meet Rachel over at Pretty in Baby Food!

I started blogging around 3 years ago. As a new mom, I needed a creative outlet, and I also wanted to help other parents who were just like me. It may surprise you but I started out writing about cloth diapers. Haha! As my blog grew, and I grew as a blogger, I branched out into more topics such as lifestyle, travel, and entertainment. Through the years my blog has expanded and now I am apart of the Mid-Atlantic Mom's and also an entertainment writer for Geek For E. My goal as a writer is still to help parents whether that be through travel and movie reviews or just talking about life. One day I hope to be invited to a Disney Social Media Moms On-The-Road Celebration as Kristi has and to continue to work with amazing brands as I have been. I am so humbled and excited about this Geekly Retreat opportunity, and I hope you will follow along with me over on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

I hope that you are as excited to follow our adventures as we are to grow, learn, and network with other amazing entertainment bloggers in California this November! Make sure you are following @thegeeklyshow and #thegeeklyretreat for all of the latest buzz!

Ultimate Walt Disney World Planning Guide

Planning a trip to the most magical place on Earth can be overwhelming for those who are new to the experience - and sometimes even to those of us veteran mouseketeers!  There's so much to think about when planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, let's break it down to what you should be doing before, during, and after the all important 180 day mark.

More Than 180 Days Before Your Trip

  • Book Your Resort Reservation - It's never too early to plan your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation! In fact, there are some great specials you can find before checking out of your current WDW resort.  These deals, called bounce back offers, allow you to grab great percentage off rates or even something like free dining.  Regardless of whether your booking a bounce back offer or planning your vacation from your couch, booking your hotel is a great place to start.  You have choices when you book as to whether you are booking room only or adding a ticket and/or dining package.  Sometimes booking as a package will allow you to take advantage of even deeper discounts.  There are a number of properties to choose from when staying at Walt Disney World Resort, and you can find a guide to understanding those categories here!  By booking your WDW resort BEFORE the 180 day mark, you can take advantage of a little bit of a head start on your dining reservations as resort guests can book their dining reservations for their entire stay beginning at the 180 day mark.  Not sure if a Disney Resort stay is right for your family?  There are many choices around the Orlando area for all of your vacation needs! Here's a look at what to consider when staying off property.
  • Plan a Tentative Itinerary - Are you someone who wants to park hop 'til you drop or are you someone looking to relax more on your WDW vacation?  Looking to see and experience the newest attractions?  Want to book gourmet dining experience?  Need three days in Magic Kingdom or just one?  You can start answering these questions and lay out a tentative itinerary. My plan changes probably fifty times or more from when I start planning, so you don't have to set anything in stone.  However, having an idea of what you want to do on each day of your vacation will help you starting looking ahead to those dining and FastPass+ reservations.  I use a simple table in Word to layout my plans and track changes I make, but there's lots of ways to keep your itinerary organized.  
    With so many unique dining options, where will you eat?

180 Days To Go!

  • 180 days is a big milestone in your Disney planning timeline!  This is the time when reservations for many of the activities you are interested in become available for booking - namely, dining reservations!  Using the plans you made prior to this point, you can begin thinking making dining reservations to go with your trip.  Did you book the Disney dining plan?  You'll want to make sure you're using your credits and booking one or two table service meals per day depending on the plan you booked. Most days I like booking one meal per day as a reservation.  That gives us an opportunity to sit down together and take a break from the rush of the day without feeling tied down with too many dining reservations to make the day our own while we're there in the moment.  If you don't get those reservations you wanted at the 180 day mark, keep trying!  Guests are constantly changing and updating plans so days and times may become available that weren't before.  Other reservations also open up at this point including recreation activities, makeovers, and much more! Looking for dining ideas?  Check out my restaurant reviews and also other options to try when you can't get the dining reservations you were hoping to grab.
  • Update your itinerary - Now that you have some dining reservations you may want to switch park days around or change up your plans.  This is a great time to start utilizing the My Disney Experience app.  Here you can track all of your reservations and plans in one place.  Find out more about this helpful planning tool here.

It's The Final Countdown


  • 60 Days to Go! - If you're staying at a Walt Disney World Resort or a Good Neighbor Hotel, you can begin booking your FastPass+ reservations at 60 days out.  Each ticketed guest can book up to three FP+ reservations per day.  You need to have purchased your tickets in order to reserve FP+ so make sure you have that taken care of prior to this date.  
  • Confirm information in My Disney Experience - Double check your MagicBands order on the My Disney Experience website.  You are able to customize your MagicBands by selecting a color option and can even upgrade to a character design now!  This is also the perfect time to make sure your flight information is added to reservation so that your Magical Express transportation to and from Orlando International Airport can be confirmed.  There is also a spot in the website to add specific room requests for your Walt Disney World Resort hotel stay.
  • 30 Days to Go! - This is when the FastPass+ booking window opens for guests staying off-site.  History as shown that some new times come available when this window hits to allow off-site guests a chance to still get FP+ for popular attractions.  Like with dining reservations, if you don't get what you want on the first try, keep checking back.  Guests continue to change their plans right up until the day of their trip and you can sometimes find great options at the last minute.
  • FastPass+ helps you experience more
    rides with less of a wait!
  • Finalize your itinerary - As you get closer to "D-Day" (That's Disney Day in this context!), it becomes more and more difficult to change your plans because you likely have more and more reservations booked.  With that said, it's not impossible.  Most of Disney's reservations have a very liberal cancellation policy of only 24-48 hours notice.  Just be sure to check the fine print, when booking your reservations so you know what to expect!  
While some bemoan the work that goes into planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, it is really a fun way to get your family excited about the trip as your countdown to creating your own magical memories!  If you are using a travel agent, they can help you manage all of this at no additional charge - just make sure they have adequate knowledge of Walt Disney World vacations.  Have specific questions?  Why not visit my friends over at the Disney Parks Moms Panel where you can ask your own questions and get answers from expert moms, dads, and Disney fans!  Happy Planning!

A Day at Margaritaville on Grand Turk

On our most recent Carnival Cruise vacation, we traveled from Baltimore to the Bahamas on the Carnival Pride with stops in Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport.  While planning our cruise excursions we were torn on what to do in Grand Turk.  Traveling with a three and six year old meant that we needed a kid friendly activity to enjoy the beautiful island.  We had read prior to the trip that there was a free beach right at the cruise terminal, but then were drawn to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.  We decided to rent a cabana for the day and give it a go.  Without a doubt, this was a perfect day for us and I definitely recommend giving Maragaritaville a try!

Maragaritaville is a free, yes you read that right, FREE pool complex located right at the cruise terminal.  While it doesn't cost anything to use the pool there, you can "upgrade" your experience by renting VIP seating or a cabana for the day.  The cabana was advertised as an excursion on Carnival's website and we decided to go for it as this was the only port that we were booking anything so the cost wasn't prohibitive to us on this trip (I believe it cost $240 for the day for our whole party).  The cabanas feature indoor seating which includes a comfy couch, a refrigerator, and the ability to lock the door so you can feel safe leaving any belongings in there.  There are also lounge chairs on the covered front porch that you can use if you just want to get out of the sun for a bit, but still enjoy the warm outdoor air.  The cabanas also include wait staff that will take care of your eating and drinking needs throughout the day!  We loved having this option to go and cool off at during the day, but it's also a "luxury" at Margaritaville and I'm sure you can have a wonderful time without one too.  If you are looking for a less expensive option, they do offer free seating by the pool as well as some VIP seating.  This VIP seating option wasn't advertised on Carnival's website so we didn't know about it ahead of time and may consider this in the future.  With this option, you have chairs closer to the pool, a locked safe, an umbrella, and waitstaff.  Of course, there are free chairs around the pool area and on the nearby beach if you want to use them as well.
Inside of our poolside cabana

Margaritaville is also a restaurant and bar which offers restaurant seating and pool service.  With our cabana, we ordered food through out waitress and she delivered it directly to our cabana so it was waiting for us when we were ready to take a break from swimming and playing.  There was also a swim up bar so you could get your drinks without ever needing to leave the pool!  Drinks and food are expensive, but servings are HUGE - definitely consider sharing with others.  We ordered several appetizers off the menu and split them instead of ordering our own meals.  They also offer drink specials where you can save money by purchasing souvenir glasses that offer cheaper refills throughout the day and buckets of beer that can save some money.
Wasting away again in Margaritaville!

With our Faster to the Fun option, we were among the first ones off the ship in Grand Turk and were among the last to board in the evening.  Margaritaville was a perfect place for our kids to play, featuring a huge pool, zero entry option, and fun music as well as offering a relaxing place for the adults in your group as well.  If you have older kids, they may enjoy taking a turn on Flow Rider at this location too.  I would definitely plan to visit Margaritaville again on a future trip to Grand Turk or in one of their other destinations.  If you need me, I'll be looking for my lost shaker of salt!

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