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Disney World

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In 1999, I got married. We honeymooned at Walt Disney World. It was my first trip. It also happened to be the same week Episode 1 hit the big screen. Star Wars Episode 1 happens to be the first Star Wars movie I ever saw of the series. It happened on my honeymoon at Walt Disney World. It feels like fate that Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will be opening while my family is there celebrating not only our 20th wedding anniversary but my birthday. Happy Magical birthday to me!

Today, Disney Parks made a big announcement and we.are.thrilled. We’ve been planning our trip for a few months and we thought for sure we were going to miss the opening of Galaxy’s Edge but we were wrong. When I heard the news, I felt like we had been blessed by the Disney World Gods.

OPENING DATES Announced for STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE in Disneyland AND Walt Disney World

In anticipation of high guest interest, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products announced today it will open Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ahead of schedule at Disneyland Park in California on May 31 and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Aug. 29th. WAIT! WHAT? Yes, you read that correctly. Opening ahead of schedule!

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

On opening day for phase one, guests will be transported to the remote planet of Batuu, full of unique sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Guests can become part of the story as they sample galactic food and beverages, explore an intriguing collection of merchant shops and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. My husband and girls have been so excited about Galaxy’s Edge and the Millennium Falcon : Smugglers Run opening. When I told them the news today, actual joy broke out in my house.

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing Your Disney World Vacation

Phase two, opening later this year, will be Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined, which will place guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality. In light of tremendous demand, Disney made the decision to open the land in phases to allow guests to sooner enjoy the one-of-a-kind experiences that make Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge so spectacular.

Guests planning to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park between May 31 and June 23, 2019, will need valid theme park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land. Information on how to make a reservation will be available at a later date on Disneyland.com and the Disney Parks Blog. Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during these dates will receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay (one reservation per registered guest); valid theme park admission is required.

READ ALSO: 25 Top Secret Tips to Rock your Disney Family Vacation

Once guests step foot on Batuu, they will be part of the action as it unfolds around them, and their interactions with the Play Disney Parks mobile app* will deepen their engagement with the land. They may choose to aid a smuggler, join the Resistance or pledge their loyalty to the First Order. In this all-new environment, guests can make choices about their experience that could impact their adventures as they travel throughout the land by using the Play Disney Parks mobile app in a whole new way. This depth of storytelling is part of the total immersion that will distinguish the two, 14-acre lands – the largest and most technologically advanced single-themed land expansions ever in a Disney park – from any other themed land in history. Is squeeing appropriate at this point because I’m pretty sure that is exactly what this moment dictates?

The new lands build off decades of collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm Ltd., a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production, including the Star Wars franchise. The work on Star Wars between these two creative powerhouses dates back to 1987, when the groundbreaking Star Tours attraction opened at Disneyland Park in California.

READ ALSO: Best Tips to Beat the Heat at Walt Dinsey World

Batuu is a far-flung destination along the galaxy’s Outer Rim, on the frontier of Wild Space – the uncharted region beyond all known star systems. Batuu is home to Black Spire Outpost, an infamous port for smugglers, traders and adventurers wishing to avoid any unnecessary … entanglements with the First Order. Along the way, guests may encounter some familiar faces, from Rey, Finn, and Poe to BB-8 and Chewie.

For more than four decades, Star Wars fans have imagined what it would be like to blast across the stars inside the Millennium Falconor race through the halls of a Star Destroyer. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will feature two signature attractions that turn those dreams into reality.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

Set to open at Disneyland Resort on May 31 and at Walt Disney World Resort on Aug. 29, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, will take guests into the cockpit of “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.” They will take the controls of the Falcon in one of three unique and critical roles as the ship hurtles through space. Some will be pilots, some gunners and some flight engineers, creating multiple ways for guests to experience the attraction.

READ ALSO: Everything New at Disney in 2019

Set to open later this year, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance places guests right in the middle of the Rebellion and gives them an active role in the fight against the First Order, including a faceoff with Kylo Ren. Their journey takes them inside a full-size starship and aboard a nearby Star Destroyer.

What does Blue Milk actually taste like? That question and more will be answered when guests visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and experience the new land’s expansive array of food and beverages. Guests will walk through a bustling street market, where vendors offer various local delicacies, including an Outpost Mix of uniquely flavored popped grains from Kat Saka’s Kettle, a unique popcorn snack with a combination of sweet, savory and spicy flavors.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

At Oga’s Cantina, even the blaster-bolt scorches on the walls tell a story. Here, guests will gather to share their tales from around the galaxy as they enjoy exotic beverages served in unique vessels and listen to spirited musical entertainment provided by DJ R-3X, otherwise known as Rex, the former Starspeeder 3000 pilot droid from the original Star Tours. Rex re-invents himself as the cantina’s DJ, and he’s as quirky and talkative as ever.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

A multi-purpose transport shuttle docked on top of a large hangar will beckon guests into Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, a designated location for traveling food shuttles. Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs is in much demand for his culinary skills, so he moves from site to site in a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede-Transport that becomes a mobile kitchen and restaurant. His travels across the galaxy allow him to fill his pantry with exotic ingredients he uses to make new and unusual dishes. He is proud to present Tuggs’ Grub, a “traveling diner for diners traveling,” inspired by dishes he created during his time working for Maz Kanata on Takodana.

In the Black Spire Outpost market, Ronto Roasters will draw attention from passersby with its large podracing engine firing up a barbecue pit for mouth-watering Ronto Wraps. When hungry customers queue up to order, they will encounter a former smelter droid, carefully turning the spit of meats. Guests will also be able to choose from a variety of exotic non-alcoholic drinks like the Sour Sarlacc or Tatooine Sunset.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

Elsewhere in the market, the Milk Stand will offer two local favorites – Blue Milk and Green Milk. Blue Milk was first seen in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” when Luke Skywalker sat down for a family meal. Green Milk was introduced in “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.”

Food is one of many discoveries just waiting to be made while wandering the lively market of Black Spire Outpost, where guests will encounter a robust collection of merchant shops and stalls filled with authentic Star Wars creations.

READ ALSO: Secrets to Experiencing Magic Kingdom like an Insider

The Droid Depot will invite guests to construct their own astromech droids. Patrons will pick pieces and parts off a conveyor belt to build one of two core models (R-series or BB-series) and they can customize their droids with various parts and colors. These droids will be capable of interacting with elements in the land. Additional programming chips and accessories can be added to further customize these new friends. In addition, the Droid Depot will offer pre-built droids, droid-inspired products and more.

At Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers, guests will have the opportunity to customize and craft their very own lightsabers. In this mystical experience, guests will feel the Force as they build these elegant weapons from a more civilized age.

Inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, guests will find a selection of rare and mysterious items for sale representing different eras of the Star Wars galaxy, including holocrons, ancient Jedi and Sith artifacts, lightsabers and more. As they explore the nooks and crannies of the shop, guests will also see Dok at his desk as the large Ithorian checks his inventory, takes incoming calls and barks the occasional order at his assistants.

READ ALSO: Everything You Need to Know about Disney Cruise

In addition to these special experiences, the Black Spire Outpost market will feature the Creature Stall dedicated to the plethora of rare and fascinating creatures that populate the galaxy, as well as Black Spire Outfitters, showcasing the latest in accessories. Guests will also find the Toydarian Toymaker, a stall full of toys crafted by a Toydarian (the flying alien species first seen in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”).

Guests can also demonstrate where their loyalties lie with the gear and accessories they purchase within the land. Resistance Supply is a “makeshift” supply location at the Resistance’s hidden command area. The stall sells Resistance pins, badges, hats, and other accessories to help guests feel like part of the cause. First Order Cargo, meanwhile, is a temporary First Order storage dock near the market. Easily identified by a never-before-seen First Order TIE echelon, the cargo location will offer guests a chance to pledge their loyalty by purchasing pins, caps, gear, model ships and more.

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and How You Can Get Invited

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the first land within a Disney park designed to integrate with the Play Disney Parks mobile app, which debuted last year and offers interactive adventures and experiences that bring surrounding environments to life at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. When guests use the app, it will provide new opportunities for them to engage with the land, such as translating a galactic language, learning what’s hidden inside crates and containers, or accomplishing certain tasks by participating in missions.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

Guests also can use the Play Disney Parks app to interact with a variety of elements in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, such as droids, ships, media screens, door panels and antenna arrays.

Music has been an integral part of Star Wars from the moment the iconic themes of Academy Award-winning® composer John Williams first introduced us to this galaxy. The music for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge continues that tradition with a suite of all-new Williams-composed themes written especially for the land and its attractions. Along with a collection of original cantina songs created by composers and songwriters from around the globe, this new music will deepen guests’ connection to the land as Williams complements and builds upon the iconic fanfares he created for the Star Wars films.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

More details about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be released in the coming months. Visit DisneylandNews.com, WDWNews.com, DisneyParksBlog.com and StarWars.com for the most up-to-date information.

Capacity is limited. Access to the theme park, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences may be restricted or unavailable depending on guest demand and other factors.

Olga's Cantina, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars, Millenium Falcon, Kat Sakas Kettle, opening day, Disneyland May 31st, DIsney World, August 29, Walt Disney World, Disney Creator Days, Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Cruise

Photos courtesy of Disney

Are you looking forward to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opening day? Will you be visiting Disney Parks this fall to check it out? What are you most excited about?

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Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,

Last week was our spring break and we decided on a Disney World vacation with kids. I planned and researched for months. You knew it was coming. After the Frozen party and the making of the  Elsa dress ( because I assure you there are none available to buy anywhere, not even at Disney World), it was time to go all in ..Disney World style. We love all things Disney.

The Big Guy and I have been to Disney World many times but never with children for an entire week. In fact, my first trip to Disney World was 15 years ago on our honeymoon. Believe me when I tell you that Disney World is not just for children. It can be as romantic and magical as you want it to be. It’s all in the planning.  But this trip was all about our girls so I wanted to make it magical for them not like last time.

Here are 25 top secret tips that every parent should know to rock their Disney World vacation with kids.

1. There is a fastpass+ in Beta for the “you can’t get a reservation for the next 8 months” Be Our Guest restaurant. Yep. That is right. It’s not advertised and you are welcome to wait in line on Stand by for a couple of hours if you prefer but if you don’t….check out this secret squirrel beta testing link to fastpass+ for Be Our Guest Reservations. The food is great and reasonably priced and the décor is gorgeous.

Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Anna, Elsa, Frozen, Epcot, Norway, Disney World Vacation with Kids

This is what heat stroke looks like. You have been warned. Sun hats & sunscreen are a must in a four hour wait line.

 

2. If you are planning to see Anna and Elsa, they are in Norway at Epcot until the end of April 2014 and then they will move to the Magic Kingdom. If you want to see them at Epcot, plan on arriving when the park opens and plan on standing in line for a minimum of 3.5 to 4 hours. My husband ran to Epcot when the park opened and we still had to wait for 4 hours. Even if you do the princess breakfast at Askershus Royal Banquet Hall 1) Anna and Elsa are not included only princesses before 1993 and 2) you get no line privileges other than starting out in closer proximity. Also, wear lots of sunscreen and bring water. You will thank me when your child doesn’t have a heat stroke.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Anna, Elsa, Frozen, Epcot, Norway

 

3. Wait for Anna and Elsa to go to the Magic Kingdom and fastpass them. Fastpass is your friend. Here are more tips for having the best day at Magic Kingdom.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids,Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, FAStpass

 

4. Speaking of fastpass, with the magic bands you are able to select 3 fastpasses per day. Take advantage of that feature. I suggest using them wisely on character meets and roller coasters. The  new Enchanted Tales with Belle is a must do for any Beauty and the Beast fan. The animatronic Lumiere was awesome.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids, Royal Table, Belle's Enchanted Tales, Walt Disney World, Beauty and the Beast

 

5. If not using the fastpass feature, hit the princesses and popular attractions first thing in the morning. It can mean the difference between a 15-minute wait and an hour and a half wait.

 

Disney World Vacation with Kids,Disney World, Walt Disney, Disney Secrets, Disney with kids, Type-A WDW,Magic Kingdom, Flying Dumbo, FantasyLand, Cinderella's ROyal Table, Merry Go Round

 

6. Take advantage of “Magic hours”. If you are staying on Disney World grounds, you can qualify for extra magic hours which means the park is open an hour earlier or a couple hours later depending on the day and the park. I suggest using this tool when planning your stay. If you think it’s not worth it, look at the photo below with maybe 100 people in the park, at 9 am that would quickly become 85,000 people in the park that day.

 

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7. Schedule your trip ahead of time using your MyDisneyExperience.com. Honestly, you will be able to make sure that you don’t miss a thing and if you are a Type-A mom like myself, you’ll be thrilled at how much easier your days go knowing when things start and where to go.

 

8. Download the Walt Disney World app. With this app, you will be able to make reservations and check availability. You will be able change fast passes. Several times we got to an attraction before our scheduled time and rode the ride and either saved our fastpass to go again or changed the fastpass for a different attraction.

 

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9. Schedule down time! I am so serious. Between the heat and all the walking, little ones ( and big ones too) will need naps or pool time. I took no less than 3 naps during our spring break.

 

10. Make sure to see the new for 2014 3 pm Disney Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom. It has all the princesses and princes and is sure to delight children of all ages.

 

11. Hit the Kilamanjaro Safari at the Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning. The animals will not be as active later in the day when the sun is high in the sky and beating down on them. They will be resting and hiding in the shade.

 

12. Make sure to see the Wishes nighttime spectacular. It truly is a magical experience and you will all get swept away in the moment.

 

13. Soarin is awesome! I love to fly and this felt like I was flying free as a bird. My girls loved it too but be sure to fastpass it because the stand by line was never under 180 minutes the whole time we were there.

 

14. Get the Memory Maker. You know all those photographers that are standing around asking to take your photos? Well, just spend $150 for the Memory Maker and you get to digitally download all of those photos and bonus, YOU Get to be in the photos!! No more being the photographer. Your kids will look back and know that mama was actually on vacation with them.

 

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15. Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Rockin Roller Coaster and Splash Mountain are all must rides for us. The kids will love it and you will LOVE the photos, especially if this is their first experience on the rides. The faces are priceless.

 

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16. Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a once in a lifetime must for every little girl. Be warned it is pretty pricey for breakfast just under $200 for a family of four BUT to see my girls’ faces when the princesses came to our table was something totally worth the price. That magic and belief is a fleeting part of childhood so savor it and indulge while you can.

 

yal Table, Merry Go Round, Jasmine

 

17. Meet Mickey and have your photo taken with him. Firstly, Mickey’s mouth actually moves know. Holy high-tech animatronic head and it’s actually a tradition we’ve been doing since our honeymoon trip and it’s kind of cool to see how we’ve changed and the girls grow over the years.

 

18. Be sure to enjoy a Pineapple Dole Whip (sold at the Dole stand at the Magic Kingdom), a turkey leg or a funnel cake from the funnel cake cart at the Boardwalk. I also highly recommend taking your family to Restaurant Marrakesh in Morrocco at Epcot. The food is fantastic. My kids loved it because who doesn’t love sweet and savory together. There is a live belly dancing show every hour on the hour and it is amazing to watch and there is huge chance that your child will get pulled onto the dance floor. Have your cameras ready!

 

Disney World, The boardwalk, Seashore sweets, surrey bikes, The Boardwalk bakery

 

19. Spend an evening at the Boardwalk. Get a pepperoni pizza from the Boardwalk Pizza Window and grab a seat on the Boardwalk at sunset. Take a surrey bike ride, get a family caricature portrait sketched and watch the street performers. It’s lots of good clean fun and my kids always seem to get pulled into the shows, so have your camera ready.  When the Boardwalk is all lit up at night, it is absolutely magical. End the night with dessert from the Boardwalk bakery ( my favorite is the Tiramisu) or if ice cream is your preference, check out Seashore Sweets. Try saying that 3 times real fast.

 

20. Late night, Sushi at Kimonos in the Swan is fun for the entire family. First, enjoy some amazing sushi and follow that with some karaoke on the Kimono stage. But be warned, if there is a large convention in-house, you may have to wait awhile to get your food.

 

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21. The Flying Dumbo ride now has a gigantic indoor play area built into the line wait. It is amazing because kids are notorious for getting squeamish and whiney when in line for too long so how awesome that you get to the middle of the line and enter the play area. The hostess hands you a pager and you can play until it’s your turn to ride. Genius. Bravo Disney.

 

yal Table, Merry Go Round, Epcot, Festival of flowers

 

22. Plan your visit during the International Flower festival and it will make your walk around the countries while you snack and sip even more breathtaking and the kids will love the topiaries of the Disney characters.

 

23. Cool off at the new Casey Jr. splash pad in Fantasyland. It’s cute, it’s convenient and a welcome reprieve from the blistering Florida heat. Make sure the kids have swimsuits or a change of clothes on the day you visit the Magic Kingdom because they won’t want to miss the fun. If it rains and you take a day off of the parks, might I recommend bowling and pizza at Splitsville in Downtown Disney. It’s fun, indoors and very reasonably priced and the food is YUM!

 

24. Bonfire and s’ mores on the Boardwalk followed by a free outdoor movie by the pool under the stars.

 

DIsney World, La Nouba, Cirque du soleil

 

25. La Nouba is 110% worth the cost. My girls are 6 and 9 and they were enthralled with the entire experience. The trampolines and the diabolos were their favorite parts. Myself, the silk scarves and ariel ballet blow me away every single time.

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These are all things that I’ve learned over the years of visiting Disney World. The most important thing you can do at Disney World ( or anywhere for that matter) with your kids is just enjoy the moments, being there and remember not to sweat the small stuff because in the grand scheme of things…none of it matters. Make a plan but be flexible.

What is your best tip for having the best Walt Disney World Vacation with kids?

482014

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We all know that Disney World is a magical place filled with fairy dust and fueled on the laughter and happiness of children. It happens to be one of our favorite places, and when I say our, I mean my husband and I.

For some reason, it seems like since we had children we just haven’t had the time or money to go. Nonetheless, we love Disney and our girls desperately want to go.

We are actually planning on surprising them with a couple days in Disney World in June, as a side trip on a surprise visit to Orlando. I plan on filming them when we tell them. Stay tuned. I am pretty sure that my 7-year-old might just faint on the spot and my 4-year-old, I am fairly positive that she will do a happy dance along with some woohoo! followed by some, ” You’re the best mommy I ever had!” I can’t wait.

But it made me think, with only two days to blow my little girls’ minds, I better figure out what the coolest things to do at Disney World with little kids actually is.

  • The Magic Kingdom and the Main Street electrical parade and fireworks
  • Explore Cinderella’s castle
  • Meet the Princesses and get their autographs
  • Go see Cirque du Soleil
  • Take a Ride on a Fringe-Topped Surrey, family style
  • Sushi and Karaoke at the Swan and Dolphin
  • Go to the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater at MGM
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • It’s a Small World
  • Mad Tea Party

I am sure there are loads more that I am forgetting, but for right now, these are on my list.

What do you recommend as a must see at Disney World for a 4 and 7 year old?

 

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Disney, Magic Kingdom, Orlando Florida, Walt Disney World

Disney, Magic Kingdom, Orlando Florida, Walt Disney World

The Most Magical part of the Magic Kingdom

We’re starting the Orlando tips with my favorite place, Disney Magic Kingdom. Earlier this month my family visited the Walt Disney World Resort and I promised you all that I would give you some reviews and tips of some of the places we went. Today, I’ll be sharing tips with you on how to maximize your experience at the Magic Kingdom, by far every kids favorite place on earth. The Big Guy and I have been to Walt Disney World many times before having our girls, including on our honeymoon. However, it was our first visit to Disney World with our girls. It was their very first trip to the happiest place on earth and it needed to be extra magical.

If you’ve already been to the Magic Kingdom, you may know some of these tips already but if you’ve never been with kids you may want to take some notes on things to do. Believe me it’s a completely different magical experience with children.

  • If you have children under the age of 8, pay the $15 for a single or $31 for a double stroller if you have more than one kid. They will get overwhelmed and exhausted and you will be carrying children. Save your back, rent a stroller.
  • If you have girls, you must take them to the Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique. It was by far one of my daughters’ most cherished memories and ours, as well.
  • Grab a map of the park and the list of times for meet and greets and where the meet and greets will be held. Believe me, if your kid has no interest in meeting Daisy Duck and you get stuck in that traffic, you will not be in a good mood. I suggest finding out who your child’s must meet characters are and then planning your time in the park around those meet and greet opportunities. Believe me if your daughter sees Rapunzel walking around and you didn’t get her autograph, overtired children will mutiny on your ass, right in the middle of the happiest fucking place on earth.True Story.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that stay on, can get wet and don’t pose a trip and fall hazard.
  • Be sure to buy your autograph book before you get to the Magic Kingdom for the simple fact that you won’t want to waste the time in line at the shop when you should be in line for meet and greets. And when you walk up to the characters, have the book already open to the page your child wants them to sign on. Then date the autograph, so you can remember the trip properly.
  • Fast pass is your friend. Get fast passes for everything that they offer fast passes for including shows and popular rides with the children. This also includes the meet and greet with the princesses and Mickey and Minnie, if not expect to waste 45-70 minutes waiting to meet your children’s heroes. I am NOT exaggerating. There are not enough hours in the day to meet and greet all the characters. You must prioritize or have the entire week to devote just to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Make sure to take a little time and plan your day. There is so much to do and so little time to fit it all in. Prioritize what your family will not want to miss, then be sure to know when and where all the parades are and then make reservations for lunch and above all else, make sure that you have rain ponchos. It’s Florida and it rains all the time. I suggest wearing a bathing suit under your shorts, less chance of chafing and faster dry time.
  • Remember why you are there. You’ve taken your kids to the happiest place on earth. Let them enjoy it and turn off your phones and unplug. They are only this age once, be in the moment. Soak it all in and let yourself see the magic of the Magic Kingdom.
  • Take a break when you are tired. Soldiering on is not going to make it magical for anyone. Depending on the ages of your children, going on without breaks or naps could be disastrous and ruin the entire trip. This is supposed to be fun, not miserable.
  • Last but not least, allow for spontaneity. The best things happen when you least expect them, you only have to be open to allowing then the opportunity to happen and that won’t happen if you are too busy rushing to the next ride. Magic happens all around us, you need to be looking in order to see it.

It was our first trip to Disney World and the Magic Kingdom and we will definitely be going back.

What was your child’s favorite  attraction at the Magic Kingdom?

 

Disclaimer: I was provided passes to Disney World/ Magic Kingdom for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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vacation, disney world, Orlando Florida, Universal Studios, Shingle Creek, paradise, family vacation

Vacation

Family Vacation, the very term conjures up images of the Griswolds driving cross country, singing songs and wreaking havoc all while narrowly escaping death. This was sort of what our trip was like. Only it was a much needed and soul replenishing vacation in Orlando, Florida that began in an amazing hotel ans ended in Disney world. I can’t believe how much vacationing we fit into our 10 day road trip. Oh yeah, that’s right, I did it again. I swore I never would but I did and what a difference a few years makes. The difference between traveling with a 5 and 7 year and a 2 and 4 year old is the difference between strolling through the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon and being chased through the park during the middle of the night by an axe murderer with Mommy issues. World of difference. Vacation road trip was a huge success, if you don’t take into account the fact that I developed a raging case of shark week on the return trip home. Oye vey, my poor family.

Honestly,there is so much to tell you and so many great places and things to do in Orlando that I want to share with you that I am going to write this as a series over the next few weeks, every Friday will be Florida vacationing tips, tricks and honest reviews of some of the places we visited. Unfortunately, all were not great experiences.

As you can see from some of the photos above, there is a LOT to do in Florida and so many places to choose to spend your time and money so I feel it’s my duty to share what I learned; good, bad and ugly. Here are a few general tips to keep in mind while road tripping with small children:

  1. Invest in a DVD player for the car. It will save your sanity and their little lives.
  2. Bring snacks because small children and husbands get the munchies when they are on the road and the only thing that is worse than “are we there yet?” is a screamed chorus of “I’m hungry!”
  3. Bring water because apparently in places where the humidity is 200% and you might die of dehydration, they feel it’s okay to charge $5 for a bottle of water. Hint: You can buy an entire case of bottled water for $5 in most cities, including Orlando, at the grocery store. Publix is  your friend.
  4. Never buy hotel rooms or tickets through a third party, there are hidden charges. Believe me we learned this lesson twice on this vacation to a total of about $300. Not a whole lot of money but it could have been spent on something better than what it was wasted on. Just say no to third party sales.
  5. Always make sure to have children’s ibuprofen, adult ibuprofen, a thermometer, Neosporin, band-aids, hydrocortizone and pepto bismol in your bag at all times.
  6. Bring a water proof back pack to carry your camera, passes, keys, extra clothes and bottles of water in while sight seeing.
  7. When staying in a hotel, if you are watching your money, it may be worth it to consider going off grounds to purchase dinner. Case in point: Dinner for 4 at one of the hotel restaurants was  $45 for sandwiches and drinks. Off grounds, the same meal would have cost about $20. Just something to think about.
  8. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take a rain poncho with you when visiting Florida. I know that no one wears those damn ugly things unless they are going to a sporting event in the rain or an amusement park in the rain. We never buy these things until we are being rained on and then it will cost you an arm and a leg for essentially the cheapest Glad trash bag you will ever encounter. Know this now. It rains in Orlando, a lot. I’ve been several times and in every season and it ALWAYS rains. Somehow, I forgot and left the $1000 rain ponchos that I bought on my last trip at home and had to buy more. 6 more! There are only 4 of us but 2 of them ripped. There I was in the middle of the happiest place on earth getting water logged and extremely pissed off and then I laughed at myself, grabbed my 7 year old and started dancing and singing in the rain. Fuck it. Life’s too short! But if you melt and rain annoys you, BUY A RAIN PONCHO!
  9. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen and Aloe. It is hot as hell in Florida and I’m not entirely sure that it is not the gateway to the underworld but it is beautiful and after awhile of looking into the sun and cooking yourself to 165 degrees, you get used to it. You may even stop sweating in 110 degree weather. Not me, I was sweating like a whore in church the entire time I was there but you may be a cooler cat than I on vacation. Once your eyes adjust and you get used to looking directly into the sun, don’t forget that you are probably being burnt to a crisp. Reapply sunscreen, SPF 50+ every 80 minutes and don’t forget the SPF lip balm. Believe me when I tell you, I forgot to reapply to myself. I thought I was safe because of my olive Latina skin. No one is safe. Florida chews up Latinos for breakfast every day and spits them out for lunch. Currently, I am no longer red but I am the damn freckliest Mexibilly you ever did see. But what about the children? I reapplied sunscreen to them every hour and they STILL got red.Please don’t let your babies burn. Nothing ruins a family vacation faster than a kid in pain from sunburn.

vacation, Disney World, Universal Studios, Orlando Florida, Rosen Shingle Creek,the Magic Kingdom, MGM Hollywood studios, Disney's Boardwalk, Kouzzina

So much to say and do in Florida, there’s definitely more than just face eating zombies to keep you entertained. Our Griswold family vacation to Florida was pretty much awesome, with the exception of a few minor shark week induced over reactions, being water logged while alternately sweating our asses off and being burnt to a crisp and the incident with public relations at the place I will hence to forth refer to as Florida Throat Punch Recipient #1 (Universal). We loved our vacation and still think Florida is the happiest place on earth. I’m already planning next year’s trip. I’ve got loads of info about all the hottest things to do with children on your family vacation to Florida and will be giving you the down low on Fridays.

I need a vacation from my vacation

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