Posts Tagged With: disney planning

T.G.I.F Pic Of The Week – My Top Fastpass + Picks – Epcot

When I was a kid, I really did NOT care for Epcot. And back in the early 90’s – they certainly didn’t have as much to offer young ones as they do today! It bored me – the countries didn’t make any sense to me, and the whole “Future World” concept did NOT interest me at all. These days, I have grown to appreciate Epcot MUCH more – the futuristic theme is kitschy and fun, and the countries still aren’t my favorite – but their food (and drink!) options are much more appealing as an adult

As we prepare to take our first family trip to Walt Disney World, I try and imagine how my son will see Epcot – will he view it as boring like I did, or will he love it? I tend to think he will love it, as he kind of loves everything and is at that great age where he is in awe of everything new – but still, when it comes to picking Fastpasses for Epcot, I want to make sure I am choosing extra carefully, picking rides and attractions that will cultivate a love for Epcot at a young age. So – I spent a LOT of time thinking about these – my top Epcot Fastpass+ picks:

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The Epcot Character Spot was a MUST HAVE on my Epcot Fastpass list – my son LOVES Mickey and pals – so the chance to meet them ALL in one spot is a necessity! When we were here years ago, it was the “fab five” – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto – and I am not sure all 5 are still here regularly – but no matter to us – we will love whoever is there for hugs and photos and autographs!

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Test Track – Now that the ride has been redesigned and you have the interactive queue where you design your car, I just know that this will be a home run with my son (plus, we love it too!)

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Spaceship Earth – This is a ride that used to have little to no standby wait time, but has grown largely in popularity recently, and has experienced wait times of 45-60 minutes. And since I love it – I want to make sure it’s one we are able to do – so it rounds out our fastpass list for Epcot!

I am pumped to be getting closer to our WDW trip – we are under 3 months now on our countdown! And I have been working diligently on planning the trip – making lists for packing, purchasing things here and there for the trip, and of course making Fastpass+ lists – check out my ones for Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, and stay tuned next week for my Animal Kingdom picks!

TGIF!

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney in Pictures, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, Epcot, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

T.G.I.F. Pic Of The Week – Top Travel Accessories – Toddler Edition

As we are now officially under the 6 month mark until we head to Walt Disney World, I am really starting to think about our trip more – logistics, itinerary, packing, meals, etc – it’s all slowly starting to infiltrate my brain – and one thing I know that I will need is some Toddler Friendly Travel Accessories, as it will be our son’s first time going far away from home, and also his first time on an airplane! I want him to be comfortable and safe, and to also have fun and enjoy all the new things he will get to see and experience! I am definitely planning on stocking up on some Travel Accessories to help ensure he has a great time:

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I definitely want to get him his very own backpack for the trip – as it will allow him to feel like a big boy, and will also have the bonus of getting some of his toys/snacks/stuff out of mom’s bag and into his own (mom win!)

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And to go on that backpack (and all of our other luggage, too!) we will need some handy Luggage Tags – which obviously serve the practical purpose of providing our contact information should it get lost, but I like these ones for the added ability to be easily spotted – even by toddler eyes – anything you can do to make your luggage stand out in a sea of bags is a good thing in my book!

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And of course, the adorable backpack will need to be filled with fun activities for the little one – like this Magnetic Playset that will keep him occupied during the more boring bits of the trip

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Once we arrive and head to the Parks, safety will certainly be forefront in my mind – which is why I love the idea of these ID bracelets – put one on the kid each day with my phone number, just in case

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Nothing can really prepare you for that first time you experience a truly hot Orlando afternoon – the sun beating down on you, the heat, the humidity – it can be overwhelming, and I want to make sure we are all as comfortable as possible when it comes to dealing with the heat. Loose/light colored shirts, sunscreen (and plenty of it!), hats/sunglasses – and one of these – a super convenient invention called a misting fan – that you can fill with water to help you stay as cool as possible at the Parks (by the way – this is one item you can buy at the Parks – but they tend to be overpriced, so I plan on getting mine ahead of time off Amazon!)

 

As usual – I am NOT AT ALL being compensated by Amazon or any of the sellers of these products – they are just ones I know will help us have a great Disney World trip this fall!

Stay tuned – next week I will share some of my top Travel Accessories for Adults!

TGIF!

Categories: Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Is The BEST Time To Go To WDW?

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I get asked this a lot – people always want to know when is the best time to travel to Walt Disney World – and let’s be real – what they are REALLY asking is when is the cheapest/least crowded time to go. I can’t blame them – Disney is expensive, and the crowds can really put a damper on your fun (that you paid so much for). So, in the interest of saving money and attempting to avoid the crowds, here are my top three best times to visit WDW:

Early December: The crowds won’t be super light at this time, so you might be wondering “why rank this as a top choice?” and that would be solely based on the Christmas decorations. That’s right – they are THAT amazing – the decorations, the live entertainment and Christmas music, the huge Christmas trees at each Park, the gingerbread displays, the Christmas/holiday themed food – it’s all amazing, and worth braving a bit of a crowd for. If you’re a huge Christmas fanatic (like me!) I highly recommend you consider an early December WDW trip. While going the week of Christmas may seem appealing – I advise you to resist the urge – as the Resort prices are higher, and the crowds are INSANE – so earlier in the month is generally a much better choice

Late September/Early October: This time of year at Disney World is great for a lot of reasons. The attendance numbers tend to be some of the lowest of the year, due in part to the return of most kids to school in September (and parents not wanting to take their kids out of classes so soon after they have just begun!). The weather is mild (still warm but not as painfully hot and humid as the summer months), and fall season is in full swing at the Parks! There are pumpkins everywhere you turn, plus seasonal fall foods are offered around the Parks too (pumpkin flavored items galore – yum!). If you’re a big Halloween fan, this is the perfect time for you to go to WDW – as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party begins in late September and runs through October. The Party includes trick or treating, a special Halloween themed parade, and plenty of character meet and greets as well

Early May: Statistically this is one of the best times to go to WDW, as the attendance numbers tend to be some of the lowest of any other time of the year. And since it’s not a “peak” time – the prices to stay at WDW are lower, too! If crowds are your main concern when planning your Disney trip, then this is your time to go! The weather is great too – you might see some rain, but overall, spring at Disney is warm (but not hot!) and sunny, which means you’ll be able to get in plenty of pool and water park time

So there they are, my top 3 Best Times to travel to Disney World. Obviously, this is just my opinion and you might have a totally different experience or other thoughts on the matter – but from what I have seen, these are the best. I would love to know what YOU think thoughwhat’s your favorite time to travel to WDW (aside from ANYTIME, of course, ha!)

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney Food, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Special Events, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Top 5 MUST PACK Items For WDW

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I have been lucky enough to get to travel to Walt Disney World many times as a kid, and a handful of times as an adult as well, and after all those years of packing (with blunders along the way – overpacking, underpacking, forgetting things) – I have come up with this list of items that I will absolutely not travel to WDW without:

Sunscreen: That Florida sun can be brutal – and even if the sky seems partly cloudy, you could end up with a bad sunburn – which is why I make sure I bring plenty of sunscreen along with me in my suitcase and in my bag I pack for the Parks, too. You can put it on as you’re waiting in line for the bus/monorail/boat to the Parks in the morning, and you’ll want to make sure you reapply every few hours too (every few hours as in every 2 – not every 4-6 – yes, the sun is that strong there). You can purchase sunscreen at the Parks/Resorts of course, but it’s very expensive, and the selection is limited, so I recommend you plan ahead and purchase a few bottles of your preferred brand/SPF to bring along with you

Sneakers: And not just any sneakers, I specifically make sure I bring new-ish sneakers that have been well broken in but that aren’t totally worn out/worn down. Yes, this is oddly specific – and for a good reason – you will do a TON of walking on your Disney vacation – like multiple miles a day. So while those flip flops may seem like a great idea because the temperature is already over 80 before breakfast time, trust me – that is one decision you will regret, as most flip flops/sandals offer little to no support for your feet – which will be poor and aching feet by the end of a day spent in sandals at Disney, for sure. So bring sneakers, ones that are broken in (so that they are comfortable), but ones that are new enough to still offer decent support for all that walking you’ll be doing

Ziploc Baggies: This may seem like a strange one to have on the list, but they come in so handy and have SO many uses. I bring assorted sizes, and use them for storing partially eaten snacks, park maps, autograph books, wet ponchos, batteries, chargers; and I also use them to store my electronics (cell phone, camera, etc) when I go on rides where I might get wet – like Splash Mountain

Water Bottle: With all that walking and the hot sun and temperatures, it can be easy to get dehydrated while at Walt Disney World – so I like to make sure I am drinking a LOT of water. I bring along a big 32 oz water bottle and I fill it with ice and water every morning before I leave for the Parks, and I make sure I refill it frequently throughout the day as well. Not only is staying hydrated super important, but saving money is too –and if you plan to just buy bottled water whenever you need it, you will spend a LOT of money unnecessarily, so bring your own bottle along and you’ll ensure you aren’t passing out from heatstroke, while saving money at the same time!

Ponchos: Of course Disney sells them, but not only are they costly, but I can never seem to find them when I need them – like when it starts pouring. So bring your own along instead – you can buy them at Target/Walmart – they sell nicer ones that run about $9 each, or you can buy smaller disposable ones at the dollar store. Either way – you will be well prepared for the (sometimes very sudden!) rainfall that tends to happen almost daily at Disney World

Hopefully you will include some (or all!) of these items in your suitcase next time you head to WDW – and that you find them as useful/helpful as I do!

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney Resorts, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

My List of Disney Lists

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I like to make lists. That is no secret, and I do not apologize for it. Organization is important – and it’s especially important when you’re taking your family on a vacation! Forgetting something (like your cell phone charger or spare camera battery…) can impact your entire trip, so I find its best to plan ahead as much as possible. I like to make SEVERAL different lists when preparing for my Walt Disney World vacations – here’s a rundown of them:

-Souvenir List – having been to WDW many times, I know what kinds of souvenirs they have, and what kinds of things I can actually enjoy/get a lot of use out of. Kitchen items, mugs, playing cards, pens – these are the kinds of things I like to plan to buy, and having a list of what I might want to get helps keep my budget on track. I use the Disney Store website to help ballpark costs of some of the items, which helps too!

-Budget – Ok, this one isn’t really a “list”, but its still a REALLY important part of vacation planning – knowing how much things cost and about how much you will need to save is imperative. Some things I always include in a Disney trip budget are: hotel, park tickets, food costs (don’t forget tips and “adult” drinks too!), souvenirs, transportation, and incidentals (someone loses their hat, or we run out of sunscreen, etc)

-Packing list – You HAVE to make a list of what’s going to go in your suitcase – you don’t want to forget anything important! I like to make the list a few weeks before the trip, and I do it on my phone so that I can add items as I think of them. I also like to check the weather so that I know what I can expect – things like ponchos and sunscreen are always on my list, and I like to make sure I have some snacks for traveling and all my necessary chargers too. Now that I have a son too, packing has become this HUGE undertaking –and I now need a separate list so I can make sure I have everything he needs too – so if you have kids, packing lists are even more important

-Park Items – There are some items you will want to make sure you are toting along on your Park days – sunscreen, assorted sizes of Ziploc baggies, ponchos, snacks, sunglasses, and a lightweight hoodie are some of the things that go into the backpack we bring when we head to one of the WDW theme parks

-“Must-Do’s” – Before you go to Disney World, check out their official list of rides/attractions and go over it with your family. Decide which ones are on your “must do” list and make sure you have that handy while at the Parks. This should be a pretty short list – as you don’t want to try and do too much in a day or you’ll get burnt out!

-“Must-Eat” items – Disney is a food lover’s paradise – they have all kinds of cuisine and restaurants, and it’s a good idea to know what they have and what you might want to try. This is an especially good thing to do if you have any type of special diet or food allergy – it’s good to know which places can accommodate your needs

Hopefully this “list of lists” will be helpful to you– maybe you can use some (or all!) of them to help ensure your WDW vacation goes smoothly!

Categories: Disney Food, Disney Restaurants, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney Vacation Planning – Easy Saving Tips

Wishes fireworks show (with Cinderella Castle behind), Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida USA

Disney vacations do NOT come cheap – they take a lot of planning, and a lot of saving too –but they are worth EVERY penny – and a penny saved here and there can add up! Read on for some tips to help you save for your Disney Dream vacation:

Make A Vacation Fund Jar: Gather up some cute stickers/pictures/ribbons and decorate a plain jar to be designated as your family’s “Disney vacation fund” – where you can stash any loose change you have hanging around. Before you know it, it will add up and help you get that much closer to that Disney magic!

Divide And Conquer: We all divide up our paychecks based on our bills and budget needs, but what about setting aside a slice of that payday for Disney? Most banks allow you to setup recurring transfers- where you can set how much/how often money is moved to a savings or other account you have designated for your vacation money. Set it to move $10 each payday, and you will be surprised at how little you miss that $10, and how much that $10 helps beef up your vacation fund

Make Do With “One Less”: One less dinner out per month, one less purchased lunch, one less latte, one less movie outing…you get the idea. Just getting rid of one outing/extra expense per month allows you to still go out and have fun, but lets you save some money towards Disney too! Besides, doesn’t staying in and cuddling under a blanket while watching Frozen sound better than going out anyway?

Utilize Store Discounts/Perks: Purchasing Disney gift cards at places that offer a discount is a great way to help pay off your trip – Target’s Red Card offers 5% off, and warehouse stores like BJ’s sometimes sell these at a discount as well. The Disney Chase Visa credit card is another way to earn Disney rewards – $1 for every $100 spend on the card

No matter what your method, all the saving and planning will pay off for sure when you finally get to take a trip to Walt Disney World (aka the best place EVER!)

Categories: Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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