“Come sail away…Come sail away…Come sail away with meeee.” I knew I loved cruising since my first cruise back in 2007. I’ve always been pretty loyal to a *different* cruise line, but had started selling more Disney cruises. That’s when I had the brilliant idea to scrap my plans to spend a week with Harry Potter and the gang at Universal Orlando Resort and book a Disney Cruise Line trip. Did I mention that I did this 4 weeks prior to sailing? And that debarkation day was on my birthday? Rude. And I would be totally alone.solo.party of 1? This will forever go down as one of the most amazing and magical trips EVER!
Does the idea of a solo vacation, especially a cruise, make you grit your teeth in agony or jump for joy at the possibility? I had done shorter solo trips to Walt Disney World, but never a week-long trip and never a cruise, where there was the potential for a lot of downtime. I was a tiny bit nervous that I would get...
I have always been part of a family of teachers; therefore, my trips to Walt Disney World happen during school breaks, which typically fall during school breaks for many around the country. This means I tend to visit during some of the most crowded times of the year; however, I rarely wait more than 30 minutes for any ride and thoroughly enjoy my days at Walt Disney World (and keep returning again and again and again). I hope to share some tips with you that will help you maximize your days at Walt Disney World if you happen to visit during peak seasons.
Stay on property
There are so many benefits to staying at a Walt Disney World resort, but there is one that helps during peak seasons: transportation. While some say that Disney transportation can take a lot of time, I would argue that it saves a lot of time. Magic Kingdom is the best example of how Disney transportation can help maximize your time. Those who drive to Magic Kingdom will park at the...
Have you ever ridden a classic attraction and wondered what it would be like to sit inside the ride and enjoy a meal? Disneyland offers this opportunity inside Pirates of the Caribbean with a restaurant called Blue Bayou. You will feel as though you stepped foot into Louisiana of past years. You walk through the facade of a beautiful plantation home to the “outdoor” seating area overlooking a canal. Here, you will hear the sounds of bullfrogs, see fireflies, and enjoy watching guests pass by on their way into a pirate lair. If you listen closely, you will hear the screams of these same guests as they make their way down two drops on Pirates of the Caribbean.
The menu is on the small side, but there should be something for everyone: steak, chicken, fish, pasta, and several side dishes that are quite tasty. I made my first trip to Disneyland in 2017. Even though we only had two days to visit, we ate at Blue Bayou both days knowing...
I often get asked, after so many trips to Walt Disney World, if I get tired of repeating activities like rides, shows, and dining experiences. First, I would say that there is SO much to do at WDW and it is ever-changing, so there is always something new to experience. Then I would follow that up with a resounding “of course I don’t get tired of them!”
Dining is such a huge part of a Disney trip, and my all-time favorite restaurant is Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios. This is, without a doubt, the most frequently visited table-service location for my family through the years.
My favorite part of any meal is dessert, duh, and Sci-Fi makes a dessert that is “out of this world” good! Let me introduce you to the warm glazed doughnut, a house-made warm cronut-like doughnut topped with warm cinnamon apples, vanilla ice cream, and candy crisps. It may sound like a sugar overload, and let’s face it, it is! It’s a large dessert...
“1, 2, 3: Cheeeeese!” We live in a world where we want to document everything, right? Pictures are one of my favorite ways of reliving a special vacation - especially a Walt Disney World vacation. How many times have you tried to take a selfie of the whole family only to have someone’s face cut out, your expression perplexed, someone looking at the screen and not the lens, and you lost out on the scenery in the background? OR how many of you always end up being the one behind the lens capturing everyone else? I’m looking at you, mamas!
Disney has an answer to all of these dilemmas called Memory Maker. By purchasing Memory Maker, you get digital versions of ride photos/videos and photos from as many PhotoPass photographers as you can stop at dropped straight into your My Disney Experience account.
Then let's talk about Magic Shots! These beauties are a little bit of surprise magic that your photographer will set up for you. When you download your photos,...
“What do you want for lunch?”
“I don’t know. What sounds good to you?”
“I don’t know. What’s close by, and what’s on the menu?”
Does this conversation sound familiar? And does it always tend to happen at peak eating times when everyone is hangry, hot, and worn out? If making reservations and spending 90 minutes eating isn’t your jam, then skip the table-service and go with quick-service. Disney doesn’t just do burgers and fries, my friends! Settle in for my favorite quick-service dining locations at each theme park.
Hollywood Studios: Woody’s Lunch Box (Toy Story Land)
This one is for the grownups who just want to be kids again! Enjoy grilled cheese, potato barrels, homemade pastries reminiscent of Pop Tarts, larger than life toys, and the sounds of Slinky Dog Dash.
Magic Kingdom: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Frontierland)
I’ll be the first to admit that the Magic...
Do you have a little princess or prince that you think would just LOVE the magic of Walt Disney World, but you are nervous about traveling with littles? It’s no secret that I make as many trips to WDW as I possibly can, but almost all of my trips are adults-only. I recently took what was probably the most magical trip of my life: the first trip with my nieces. “L” was 5.5 and “E” was 9 months. It was completely magical being there with them, but there were also several things that stood out about traveling with kiddos.
Rope drop and early entry
Do it, friends, do it. All Disney resort guests get 30 minutes of early entry at each park each day. I know it may sound overwhelming to get your littles up and moving each morning, but mornings at WDW are golden! Our plan was to be at our mode of transportation 1 hour before early entry started. Most littles are pretty full of energy in the mornings, so it really wasn’t a struggle to get them up and...
In today’s world of social media, we have all seen the videos of parents surprising their kids with Walt Disney World vacations. I admit, they always make me misty-eyed. I had my own moment several years ago, but instead of making it onto Facebook, it was captured on camcorder on a physical tape!
My sister and I were told we had a pre-park opening breakfast reservation at Crystal Palace. We were told this in advance so there would be minimal whining and complaining when that early morning alarm went off. I remember thinking that I did not want to get up that early; I don’t even enjoy breakfast food that much; I’m not usually very hungry in the morning; and I certainly didn’t care that much about Winnie the Pooh and friends.
We arrived at Magic Kingdom bright and early and headed into the park as others waited at the turnstiles. Dad had the camcorder out using the story that we would likely never be in an almost-empty...
It feels like every time you turn around, there is an update coming out about a change at Walt Disney World. Lately, we’ve been getting notifications about more dining, experiences, shows, and resorts reopening - woohoo! There are lots of subtle changes happening in the parks, though, and if you don’t go regularly, you might miss some of these.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Walt Disney World 4 times in the past year since the reopening, and each time has been different. My last trip was in mid-July, and there were two main changes that caught my attention: rope drop and mobile ordering.
Rope Drop Changes
This was a hard one for this rope-dropping girl. For the last year, I have been that crazy lady who is at the bus stop 90 minutes before the scheduled park opening time. Before your eyes bug out of your head too much, let me say that for the past year, the parks were opening WELL before the scheduled opening time. Like, “ride 2-3...
I don’t think anyone would disagree that Covid really messed with a lot of what used to be “normal.” That also goes for changes that occurred when Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020. Character meals have always been a BIG deal and I know we were all anxious to know what these would look like, and probably most importantly to many people, if they would be “worth it.”
I made it a point to eat at two different character meals on my most recent trip so I could give the scoop on what the interaction, menus, and prices are like currently. I enjoyed breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace at Riviera Resort with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, and dinner at Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy.
Here is what you need to know about character dining at the moment:
In a word: great! I was unsure of what this would be like since I was so used to characters coming to the table for hugs and autographs....