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Hi, my name's Vanessa Ferguson. I'd like to welcome you to the does love podcasts with Vanessa and Kris. Hey everybody, this is Kris Johns coming to you live from Flint, Michigan. Thank you for joining us today. We wanted to welcome everyone to our first show ever where you are going to be talking about a little bit about our story and sharing with you our experiences and then telling you a little bit about what all that this podcast will be about. The folks that podcast is really. We Love Disney and we've gone to close to over 20 trips to Disney in our lifetime and for us it's a place of joy and love and we just want to share that with you and throughout our various segments. We want to tell our story, but we also want to connect you with some of the great businesses out there that can help you with your Disney planning and getting you all ready for your next trips as well. Alright, so let's get started. Let's talk about our origin story. So a little bit about. We're going to talk about our Disney stories today. So first off, we have been married for 10 years and we have gotten to on eight Disney trips together during that time, four of those we also had before our wedding, so we've actually been to Disney together 12 times. So Kris, you and share how many times you've been in total and then I'll tell a little bit about my trips. I've been to Walt Disney world at Total of 11 times and then a Disneyland twice and for myself I'm a little bit more of a veteran than Kris. I've been to Walt Disney world 24 times and I have made five trips out to Disneyland. Question for you, Vanessa, how old are you when you first went to Disney? I was two years old, so I have been all of my memories of vacationing with my family. Includes some sort of trip to Disney. So Kris got into the game a little bit later. He only had one trip during his childhood, but he started to make up for that. Since we've been together. So we want to tell a little bit about some of the things that we have celebrated at Disney. So not only do we enjoy vacationing there, but it's been a great part of important celebrations and milestones throughout our life. And the first one, the most important probably. Is there a wedding? Yes. We were married at Disney in 2008. We were married on March 3, 2008 at Epcot. We were married in the American adventure Rotunda. We had a reception at the living see Salon and then we had a illuminations dessert party in the lower French arm. So we spent a whole day celebrating with our family there and we had over 50 guests down for our wedding the most about that day. Vanessa, the weather it was just perfect again, being from the Midwest here in the spring and we have cold springs going down to Florida. The weather was absolutely perfect. And our wedding day. I thought you were going to say the crepes because you always talk about the crepes, but it's a close second. But I would have to say what I remember most is just the weather, low humidity, sunshine, warm I an ideal march, Spring Day in Florida. Exactly. So we had such a wonderful day that on that march morning, we again our wedding, because it was inside the park, we got to go in before all of the guests were able to enter that area. So our guests had a VIP experience before the public was able to go into the world showcase and it's really an experience to see Disney world with nobody in it. I mean again, I think maybe at the time that we walked in less than 100 people, so to look really left to right. Being from the American Rotunda looking right over to Mexico and left over to England. Nobody in the park. Exactly. And because of that we're able to get really cool pictures with our friends, family and bridal party. And so it was a great experience and for all of them, many of whom had never been to Disney. It was a great chance for them to see the parks really in a VIP experience. And after our wedding itself, of course we were at the living sees if you've ever eaten at the coral reef restaurant where our reception was, was directly above that. On the second floor, so you could see right into the aquarium, we have pictures of people with the giant sea turtles behind them and all kinds of really cool shots from the living sees and then that evening of course we had a illuminations dessert party, which meant that our guests had special viewing right on the lagoon and they were able to see the show without having to sit and wait hours for a special spot. So again, nowadays they have those nice dessert parties that you can buy tickets for, but back then the only way that you could get that vip experiences through something like our dessert party that we had. Do you remember anything from the Dessert Party, Kris? Really? I remember getting those kind of 3D type glasses that allowed you to had mickey's that would float when you looked at the fireworks? Yes. Yes. So then also the cookies to. Yeah, the cookies are always a good thing to have as well. And along with our wedding that week, we also did quite a few special events for our guests. We had a welcome party that was a Hay ride at Fort Wilderness camp ground, so for that we, they have nightly hay rides that you can go just as a regular guest and participate in, you've just pay. It's right near pioneer hall, but for our selves we reserve the whole the whole way again and our guests were able to go and it's nice because they take you on the beach, you get to see the fireworks shot for magic kingdom. And so we had that fun experience with our guests as well. My myself, with some of the ladies, we had a tea at the Grand Floridian if you've never gotten a chance to do the afternoon teas there. Those are a once in a lifetime. Definitely a nice experience to have. We all felt very special. We dressed up and wore hats. So that was a fun time. And Kris went with some of the guys that day. And what did you guys go to the. We went to a spring training game. We, again, we're from Michigan, so we root for the Tigers. We went into Lakeland, which is just down the way and[inaudible] kind of as you go towards Tampa, the again, the weather was perfect. We had a chance to see the tigers play and again, being in central Florida, it was wonderful to see baseball and it was just really, really a good time and so many other fun experiences that we quit our friends and family. My bachelorette party was at the pirate party at magic kingdom, which they don't have any more, but it's very similar to a lot of those after hours parties, ticketed events. So that was a lot of fun and we had lots of great meals with friends and family. Probably our favorite was at Ohana. We had about a level. Okay. Yeah, that's the one that we always have to go to each time we had a dinner at Ohana and of course they taught us the hula dance and different things. So it was a point. Yeah. So we had a great time there and that was a little bit about our first experience for our wedding. You know, what? I think it really the wonderful thing about getting married at Disney world, it is a wonderful icebreaker because again, you know, you meet somebody for the first time. Ultimately it's kind of what do you do? Are you married, you are married and it's just one of those things where if you love Disney, you can find a way to interject that you got married at Disney world. Exactly. So that's something Kris always likes to bring up when we're on our trips or when we meet other people that love Disney as well and that wasn't the last time that we had a special event at Disney. You want to tell what was our next thing that we had at Disney? We'll get after getting married. You have your first anniversary, so where else would we spend it? Except for at Walt Disney world and for our first anniversary we planned a private dinner at the Grand Floridian. If you've never heard of this, you can contact the Grand Floridian directly and they are allow you to have a meal with a private butler. You are out on the balcony. Unfortunately, there's a little cold that night. We were there, so we were inside, but you had at that time it was wishes we had a great view of wishes and we're able to create a custom menu and they even did a replica of the top layer of our wedding cake because coming from Michigan, we obviously couldn't take that top layer home with us from our wedding. So do you remember anything about the first anniversary, Kris? I just remembered just Grand Floridian in general. I mean, I know the food was really good. Um, no, that's about it and of course it's always great to have that nice experience where we had a private Butler to wait on us and then a few years later for our third anniversary returned again and we had another private event, but before that we also did some pictures with Randy Chapman who with Chapman photography, he had done our wedding photos as well as our engagement photos. So we did a photo shoot with brandy for our third anniversary. We did it around the boardwalk and a yacht and beach club. So we had a nice afternoon of taking photos, having good memories with that. And then I had arranged through, um, the catered events to have a private dinner at UK Loc side. I have no memory of that. We'll have to show you those pictures to remind you of it when you get Vanessa. She scrapbooks. All these photos was wonderful. It's either a, I have a bad memory or I do too much stuff because I have no clue. I'll remind you about what happened at that. So we had. So we had reserved the private area at the UK, a pavilion and what we were able to do is they recreated some of the menu items from our wedding and we had private viewing of illuminations just like we had done with our wedding guests. And it was nice because those mickey glasses, Kris mentioned earlier, we were able to get those to see the fireworks and it was a great experience. Unfortunately now Disney does require a higher minimum for those special catered events, which is a little higher than when we did it. So you probably couldn't afford to do it just for two people. Nowadays. You'd want to have a larger group because those minimums are higher. But it's still something that is a possibility that you can do. And then a couple years later we also returned to Disney for what? My what anniversary? Where we there again for the anniversary. So for our fifth anniversary we just planned a regular trip. We did a few special things. We did the tomorrow Land Terrace, dessert party. We asked. I have no memory of this either. What was that? That was where the area when you're walking over to tomorrow land where you cut from main street and they had. It was a restaurant there and then we had special viewing for the fireworks and they had all kinds of desserts. It wasn't a private thing. It was with other people. We got tickets. I have no memory. So obviously there wasn't any desserts that stood out to him for that one. But we had a nice trip that time. And another thing that is great about getting married at Disney is that we met a lot of other couples who've been married at Disney. You don't miss this. The neat thing is we've made friends really from the other Disney couples in. I actually, I was just talking to one today and I think that's really the, one of the things I've really enjoyed about getting married at Disney is kind of hibbing Vanessa being part of this sorority of other women who have planned their weddings at Disney and it's just neat because again, we've met people in Florida, we've met people in California, we've also met them, we met them locally, so we've, uh, we've seen people in Michigan, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania world to be seen people as well. So the big place that we've met up with individuals air, there have been meetups of couples who have gotten married at Disney and Disneyland. So we've attended two of those meetups. The first was in 2015 at Walt Disney world and that's where we met some of those individuals that Kris was talking about. And then we also attended a second one at Disneyland in 2016. Do you remember what, where was this special event when we went to Walt Disney world with a group? Do you remember that? Wait. Well, Disney world, when we move in Florida. Yeah, we did. We were where it was. Oh, it was a test track. Yes. Yes. So we were in the GM lounge right above test tracks, so they had a special event in. There was probably 50 or so couples together there had a private meal and then one of the best parts was that we got to go to the front of the line of test trial my line. But you know, that was my favorite part to remember that I do. I remember being, we were all dressed up and we got to cut in the very front of the line, so I like seeing the face than the people who waited in line all that time. And then right before they got to get on, we were able to scoot in right in front of him. That was my other favorite part. So that was a lot of fun. And then of course there was other things that happened during that trip. We met up at the Halloween party and some other. We did a hayride again with the group, so a lot of fun things at Walt Disney world for that first meetup and we met some really good friends that we still are friends with today and then we made the trek out to Disneyland in the following year for another meetup and the great thing was that several of our friends were there that we had met in Florida, so we're able to catch up and visit with them, but then there was a special event out there as well there a catered event that was at the Disneyland Hotel, so we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and then we were able to go to the private event that was there as well, so that was a nice. Remember going to California? Yes. I remember meeting people. I remember sitting out on the patio, but what was this? It was in the Disneyland Hotel. If we had a private room and they had like the photo booth set up and we had. It was on Dapper Day, so we had been all dressed up for damper. Very faint memory. Do you remember Dapper Day? I know what it is, but I don't. Yeah, we got dressed up and we went to the park before going to the special event, so that was the meet up that we did out in Disneyland and we actually are attending another meetup next year. Where are we going next year? On a cruise? Yes. So we're going on the Disney cruise line. There's a group of ladies and their husbands going on the Disney cruise next year, so we will be joining them in December of 2019. So we'll definitely be sharing that story with all of you in the future. And what did we just do recently this year in March, we hit our 10th anniversary and where else would we spend it? Disney world. And the Nice thing was that we were able to spend it at Disney world with a lot of the same guests that were at our wedding. We had over 30 of the same. Yes. From our wedding attend our vow renewal that we had at Disneyworld in March. We had a on March 13th of this year and for that we had our ceremony again. We wanted to go back to epcot, so we were at the Italy pavilion and then we had a brunch at Canada terrorists and of course that evening we had to top it off with a, another illuminations party. So we had a party that was, we ate inside at Norway Loft because it was pretty chilly. And then we had illuminations viewing at Germany Promenade for the dessert party. What were some of your favorite parts of that day, Kris? Well, I of course the, the, the, I guess what do you call it? The Valerie? Yes, the viral. No, of course.Speaker 2:
It was just nice to see family because, you know, at this point in my mom, she was spending the winter in Las Vegas, so I got to see her for the first time in awhile. But I would think just the whole thing know being a Disney makes you happy. The weather was fine again, and I think he was a little cooler this time than our wedding. Well, I didn't feel at that, but I was in a Tuxedo so it wasn't that bad for me, but it was just nice to see all our familySpeaker 1:
and we had people that came in from seven different states, so we had people from Iowa, Illinois, and a California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Florida. He's going to keep saying Illinois have lots of different places. So it was great to everybody together. And Disney did an amazing job. We had a travel theme so we were able to incorporate things throughout. We're trying to reach a goal of visiting all 50 states before we turned 40, so we were able to incorporate that idea and theme into the entire day. We'll make sure to share lots of pictures with you. We had an awesome cake. We had a crepes. We did have craves again. We had a menu that was reflected the different pavilions at the world showcase, so we had a little bit of flavors from the different pavilions and we also were able to do something really cool for our guests. Something that we had experienced at that um, Disney couple of meetup in 2015 where we got that ride mix in it. And what did we do for our vow renewal, Soren? Yes. So we decided we wanted to get, you do remember that it was only a few months ago. So we decided that we wanted to have a ride mix in for our guests because we really love that VIP treatment. So what happened was after our dessert party ended, our guests were then escorted over to the land pavilion and we went right to the front of the line for soaring and of course as you know, that can sometimes be quite a wait for that ride. So it was great to be able to do that. Many of our guests had never written that ride before. It was a chance for them not only to experience it, but it also went well with our overall theme would that travel theme. So it was super exciting to be able to do that. And we had, we did have one other special surprise for our guests that day who made a special appearance at our Barberino Mickey Mouse. Yeah. So we did get some pictures with Mickey Mouse. We had not had any characters that our wedding. So it was fun. Only a few people knew about Mickey. He came out right at the beginning of our brunch. So that was another exciting thing that we had done with our guests that day. Just like for our wedding, we did quite a few fun things that week. Well, our guests were there. As we mentioned, we had well over 30 people attend. We had some people that were local as well, so we had about 30 people travel from out of state and then we had just under 10 people that were from the basically the Greater Orlando area that came and celebrated with us. And we did a few different things that week you want to share. Where was our welcome party,Speaker 2:
Kris? Phil? It was upstairs as puts fill. It was a wonderful time. I mean bowling is fun and so we. It was a great activity because you had people who wanted to bowl, folks who just want to watch. I know that we had a number of young kids there that really get into the action and the food was wonderful. I mean, I think we had a lot of pizzas in. Again, the reason you go to Disney, the service was excellent.Speaker 1:
Exactly. So we had that private area reserved. We also had a pool table, so splitsville is a great place to be able to arrange a private event. We also did a scavenger hunt at the magic kingdom, which was something that we had experienced at one of those meetups. So we downloaded this really cool app that sent all of the clues to our guests and they participated in that the day after our vow renewals. So a couple of our guests were able to, when we gave away a Disney gift card as kind of a prize for that. So that was a lot of fun. And then of course, what is our family and friends? What do we like to do the most beat? Yes. We like to eat, so we had a lot of those special meals throughout the week. Ohana, of course, like we had done for our wedding. We also did he eat meals at the wave? We had meals at crystal palace and then we did tusker house at animal kingdom, so we had a lot of great fun throughout the week and of course there are lots of ways to work with Disney outside Disney fairy tale weddings. You can arrange private events or Disney catered events. There's lots of lots of those special parties that you can do. We'll talk more about those in future episodes, but we wanted to share just a little bit about how Disney has been a part of those big milestones in celebrations in our lives and hopefully hear a little bit about your stories in the future as well.Speaker 2:
As we conclude our first episode, I would like to share some wisdom from Walt. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing and I think for us again, if you can't get inspired to get things going in your life after leaving Disney world, something's wrong with you because whether it be the American road, Tundra and the quotes just to see you again, Walt Disney's vision. I mean he created something out of nothing literally. I mean he took baron, Florida swamp land and created the world's premier family destination and so that's why again, we're just sharing our love with Disney, with youSpeaker 1:
and thank you so much for joining us. And again, that quote is a great inspiration of why we are doing this today. We want to share our love and experiences with you and hopefully hear from all of you as well.Speaker 2:
This podcast is not affiliated with the Walt Disney company or its holdings and it is intended for entertainment purposes only.