Rich Christensen

Rich Christensen

Richard Christensen was born with an insatiable curiosity about the world and degrees in History and Library Science have only fueled that fire. He's often seeking new adventures, whether that be spinning in a teacup with his daughter at Disney World or heading off the beaten path to visit a lost piece of roadside Americana. You can read about this Michigan dad and his travels on the Wagon Pilot blog or brush up on your Disney World expertise over atPixie Dust Daily.


Why You Need to Add Detroit to Your Travel Plans

Detroit. Underdog of the Rust Belt. When I was growing up it was a place to avoid; a place to fear. They built the Renaissance Center in the 1970s to usher in a new era of progress. It didn’t happen. The auto industry continued its slow decline until finally collapsing. A lot has changed since then. The new era has finally arrived. Over the past decade years the auto companies have found their footing while new industries have begun to fill in the gaps. Major investments have been made to renovate old hotels and erect new offices. Little by...

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Amazing Activities for Tweens on Disney Cruise Lines

While often viewed as the premiere ships for parents of young children, Disney Cruise Lines also caters to the desires of older kids. Tweens, in particular, benefit from the diverse array of areas and activities on the ship designed just for them. Being a transitional age group (10-12), the Disney ships offer the security of supervised areas alongside adult-free zones where kids can test their budding social skills. As my daughter enters the tween years, her recent experience on the Disney Dream was exciting and let her choose which activities had appeal.   A Note on Tweens and Social...

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Change Your Routine and Plan a Local Vacation

While hopping on a jet to some far off tourist destination is always on our minds, but what happens when you just don’t have the extra time or money for a week long retreat? An alternative many overlook is planning a local vacation. Set aside a few days and stick close to home. You’ll be surprised at how many activities and unique experiences are available within a short drive. I’m not fond of the term ‘staycation.’ It takes the wind out of the sails and all too often articles I see about staycations involve nothing more than doing the...

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Perfect Park for Preschoolers

When planning a Disney World vacation, parents often focus solely on the Magic Kingdom for entertaining their preschoolers. It’s the obvious choice; Cinderella Castle greeting you from afar and plenty of recognizable characters and rides aimed squarely at their youthful audience. Epcot and Hollywood Studios fill in the extra days. Lost in the shuffle is Animal Kingdom. With only three rides for little tykes, parents overlook all the amazing shows and adventure and animals. “Isn’t it just a zoo?” Over the years I’ve come to enjoy Animal Kingdom from my daughter’s perspective. First as a toddler and now moving...

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Roadside Attractions are Half the Adventure

In this day of massive airliners and six lane highways we focus solely on our travel destination. Pack, fly, arrive, return. What we’re missing is everything in between. The little towns, the natural wonders, the giant fiberglass fish beckoning weary families into a restaurant. These roadside attractions are slowly fading into the past as road trippers stick to the interstates with their cookie cutter exits. There was a time when travelers delighted in finding interesting places along the road instead of barreling by; desperate to reach their end point. It’s time we take a step back and seek out...

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12 Reasons to Stay at a Disney World Resort

One of the first steps in planning a vacation at Walt Disney World for your family is deciding where to stay. There are several factors to think about when choosing a hotel including, budget, location, and how much time you plan to spend at the hotel. A trip to Disney World adds a few more items to the list for the more than 20 very unique resorts located within its borders, such as transportation option and amazing themes. Let’s take a look at several of the reasons I recommend staying at a Disney World resort; especially for first time...

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Maximize Vacation Savings with a Disney World Annual Pass

Walt Disney World is the most popular family vacation destination in the US. It’s also an expensive undertaking. We have been the more times than I can remember and along the way I’ve found ways to cut costs without sacrificing the experience. One of the best tools for balancing the budget is the Disney World annual pass. More than just a ticket to get you into the Parks, the annual pass is a key to unlocking huge savings for every aspect of your vacation.   Annual Pass Savings Before You Even Leave Home The first question posed is typically,...

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8 Ways to Save Money on Family Vacations

Traveling as a family is a great way to spend time with your kids and also build lasting memories. Whether your family likes to hit the the open road or lay claim to a spot on a sandy beach for a few days, these are moments enrich our lives. The downside is that these adventures can quickly become prohibitively expensive. To be able to travel more often without breaking the bank, here are eight useful tips for planning more budget friendly family vacations. Saving on Airfare Booking flights for a family vacation is often enough to cause mild chest...

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Create New Traditions with Local Holiday Travel This Year

Holiday travel is not what it once was. According to a recent Traveling Mom poll, many of us are no longer piling into the car or boarding a plane to gather at grandma’s house with the whole family. Americans are enjoying new options in how they spend their precious Holiday vacation time these days. A mere 24% host major holidays at their own home while 17% are jetting off to meet up with family at a vacation destination. And like my own family, 26% choose local holiday travel or head out on their own vacation to relax. Here’s a...

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How to Get the Most out of Disney World Character Meet and Greets

One of the biggest attractions vacationers at Disney World often overlook is the characters themselves. While not exactly a traditional attraction, character meet and greets are a huge draw for both children and adults alike. That’s right, you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy the fun interactions and get a picture with a favorite Disney personality. What does set meet and greets apart from other items on the to do list is the vast number of ways you’ll encounter characters in the theme parks and resorts. This guide will make it easy to find your favorites and...

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