- Use the Rider Swap option! Adult guests can take turns riding the rides with little ones who are too small to ride. One adult rides while the other adult waits with the little one. Once the ride is over, the adults swap places and the other adult rides while the first adult stays with the little one. See a cast member at the attraction for more information.
- Use FASTPASS. This will reduce your time spent waiting in lines for select attractions. These are the “little ones” rides that have FASTPASS. Magic Kingdom: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Hollywood Studios: Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Toy Story Mania. Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Be familiar with and use the baby care stations at the parks! If you child is lost, a Cast Member will most likely take them to the baby care stations until you are located.
- Bring your own stroller from home (umbrella, light weight, to easily carry on transportation) or rent one from the parks. You can visit Guest Services to rent a stroller. You can get single day or multi day stroller rental. Save your receipt! If you park hop, you can take your receipt to the other parks and get one there too!
- Have a plan for each day you are at WDW. Make plans for trips back to the room for naps, relaxing or swimming. You can also play on playgrounds or play areas designed for little ones at the resorts.
- Resorts have pack n play cribs available on request for little ones.
- If you want, you can have Disney provide in room child care for kids ages 6 weeks to 12 years. Some locations provide child activity centers for ages 4-12.
- I’ve heard that kids under age 3 can eat for free… but I’ve also heard they can only eat off their parent’s plates for free or eat from a buffet for free! Either way, one less meal to buy! There are kids menus available at most restaurants and there are plenty of Character Dining experiences available with advanced reservations.
- Make reservations at the Harmony Barber Shop or Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for hair cuts and “up dos” for your little ones!
- Sign up for free maps prior to your trip so your kids can become familiar with the parks!
All that to say, we’re only 4 days from Halloween! One of the things on my Disney Bucket List is to go to Disney World in October for Halloween. There are many unique things to do in Disney World this month:
2. Trick or Treating in DTD– On October 30 and 31 from 5-9pm kids can trick or treat at Downtown Disney at 20 locations. You can also enjoy a DJ Dance party, magicians, storytellers and more!
3. Special Events at Disney Resorts– Scroll to the bottom of this link to find information on events at Fort Wilderness, Old Key West, Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, and Wilderness Lodge revolving around Halloween!
4. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival– You can sample food and wine from more than 2 dozen countries around the World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot. While you are strolling the lagoon, you will be immersed in the cuisine, culture and entertainment of the countries.
Here is a great tip from the weekly All Ears newsletter email.
… from Gretchen: If you are making dining reservations and have a baby with you who will not be sitting in a seat or ordering a meal, you still have to include them in the number of people on the reservation. This is due to fire codes and the actual number of people in a restaurant. We showed up at our dining reservation and were told that we could have been turned away if they were full. Luckily they weren’t and were able to accommodate us.
What a great tip! I had not even thought about the fire codes before! Keep that in mind when you are making your advanced dining reservations at any Disney restaurant in the parks or resorts!
In my recent Celebrations Magazine there is a great article written by Beci Mahnken from Mouse Fan Travel about the best sweet treats in Disney World… and a few in Disneyland and on the Cruise Lines. Here are her top choices for Sweet Treats:
Mickey Head Ice Cream Bar
Cinnamon Roll from the Main Street Bakery
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop Ice Cream (No Way Jose and the Kitchen Sink)
Chai Cream from Kidani Village
Butterfinger Cupcake from Starring Rolls
Maple Creme Brulee from Le Cellier (or the Chocolate Moose)
Valrhona Chocolate Cake from California Grill
I’ll agree with many of these treats, but will disagree with some and add a few of my own! The Mickey Head Ice Cream Bar is a must- along with the Mickey Head Rice Krispy Treat and Mickey Head Cookies And Cream Sandwich! (Anything Mickey Head is amazing!) The Dole Whip is appreciated by so many, but not my family. We heard so many great reviews about this treat that we all got one on our last trip. I think we all ended up throwing it away. The Cinnamon Rolls, Beaches and Cream and cupcakes from Starring Rolls are definitely on my list for our next trip!
When it rains, it pours! Today I was able to get online to make our Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) and while I was doing that, the mail came. In the mail today was my May/ June “Celebrations” magazine AND our photopass pictures from Disneyland!! I spent the afternoon reading my magazine and trying to decide where to put the new photos. Still haven’t decided on the photos yet! I’ll try to scan them in so I can post them.
We learned on our last trip to WDW that if you want to eat meals at a sit down restaurant, you have to have reservations. We were traveling during a slower time of the year (February), so we were able to call 24-48 hours out and still get reservations at some places. So, this time, I’m not taking any chances! I know where we want to go and I’ve had 180 days out marked on the calendar for almost 3 months now!
I did finally decide on ADRs and made all our reservations!! These are all places we have not eaten at before (except for Liberty Tree… I ate there years ago, but we haven’t been as a family yet!).
Wednesday 8:10 breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace
Thursday 6:10 dinner at Rose and Crown
Friday 5:35 dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern
Saturday 5:35 dinner at Hollywood and Vine
The other meals will be in our room or at restaurants that don’t require reservations. These are the ones I want to try still!
Beaches and Cream (Beach Club)
Tomorrowland Terrace Noodles (MK)
El Pirata y el Parico (MK)
Tangierine Cafe (Epcot)
Anandapur Local Food (AK)
Starring Rolls (DHS)
I can’t wait!! I wish it were tomorrow!
As you know, I spent the middle part of May in Los Angeles and was lucky enough to spend 2 very full days at Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. So today’s “Friday’s Favorites” will be about Disneyland.
On our first day in Anaheim, we arrived at the park an hour before it opened. We actually had to wait for 25 minutes to get into the parking lot/ deck. We turned off the car and sat while we watched the cast members arrange the cones, open the “toll booths” and get ready for the day. We were third in line. We rode the tram to DTD and purchased our 2 day park hopper tickets. We then waited for about 15 minutes for the main gate to Disneyland to open. They chose a group of 8-10 youth to “open the park.” It was fun as the cast member announced who they were and where they were from, but it was very boring compared to the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom in WDW!
Finally the gates were open and we were on our way to the original Disney Park! We took our time going under the train tracks and into Main Street USA. We looked around, took pictures, got our 1st trip buttons and started making our way down Main Street. We were hungry since we didn’t have a chance to eat at the hotel so we stopped at Carnation Cafe for breakfast. We had a great breakfast!!
While we were finishing our meal, a man (cast member) approached our table wearing a chef’s hat. He asked how the meal was and if he could get anything for us. We told him it was delicious and we were doing fine. He asked where we were from and the conversation started. This was my favorite part of the trip! Oscar Martinez has been working at Disneyland since 1956. He didn’t know Walt personally, but had some stories to share. Sadly, between his accent, the crowd noise and his soft spoken voice, neither Jonathan nor I understood the stories. It almost seemed he was trying to keep quiet so others wouldn’t be able to hear what he was saying. He did sign my Disney autograph book and took a picture with me! When he signed, he included the date he started working (12-29-1956) and he wrote “54 years” because that’s how long he’s worked at Disneyland. A few minutes later he came back and gave me a copy of the “Disneyland Line.” I believe this is a publication for cast members only. He showed it to me, signed the page where his photo appeared and told me to hide it in my backpack so other guests wouldn’t see it. So, I did! He was pictured with Tom Staggs (WD Parks and Resorts chairman) and some other Disneyland cast members.
My advice is, while you are on your Disney vacation, whether it’s in Disneyland or Disney World, take time to slow down and enjoy everything! Talk to the cast members, ask questions, look at the architecture, take pictures, learn about the history of the attractions… there is so much more to a Disney vacation than rushing from ride to ride, show to show, park to park and parade to parade!
have a magical day! 🙂
Here is great advice from Hungry Girl about watching what you eat while at Walt Disney World or any theme park.
I’m going to Disney World in a few weeks, and I’m wondering if you have any tips on eating there. As far as I know, the restaurants don’t provide nutritional information, so I am at a loss. Help! How do I not gain weight while I’m there?
Dear Amusement Confusement,
You’re not alone! Now that the warm weather is here, many of us will be spending time at fairs and amusement parks, spots that can be pretty scary when it comes to meals and snacks. I have a few rules for day trips to these types of places…
1. Bring emergency snacks. These are things you can keep in your bag to help you avoid eating the crazy-high-calorie snacks that pop up at parks. I like to have sweet stuff, minty things, and protein-packed options handy: Tootsie Pops, sugar-free hard candies, sugar-free mints, sugar-free gum, jerky, light cheese snacks that don’t need refrigeration, 100-calorie packs of almonds — all GREAT. Click here for a huge list of travel-friendly treats.
3. Check out menus online ahead of time. Even if the restaurants don’t have nutritionals posted, you can usually find out what’s on the menu before you get there. Then at least you will be prepared for what to expect and can make the best choices. In fact, check out this unofficial guide we found for dining at Disney!
4. In general, when it comes to meals, stick with deli meats or grilled lean protein (like chicken), rather than hot dogs, pizza, or hamburgers. And if you’re going for a salad, pay close attention to the dressing, ‘cuz there’s a good chance it will have more calories than the salad itself! Your best bet with salads is to order the dressing on the side, and then dip (don’t pour!).