Jan 27

So, You Have Booked Your Disney World Vacation, Now What?

Getting your vacation is work in itself.  It’s a workout trying to decide on your dates, which resort, how many days you want to spend in the parks, etc.  Now you need a vacation from all that right?  Well, just not yet.  There are more things you need to consider.  I have decided to write up things you might not have thought about and things you need to consider.  Here is my list in no certain order.  I must also say, that if you book with me, most of these, I take care of for you, one of my many services.

  1. Did you link your reservation up to My Disney Experience?  Did you set up the account?  If not, go to www.startyourdisneyexperience.com and get started.  Pull in your reservation and then customize your magic bands.
  2. Be sure to start making dining reservations.  You can start making those at 180 days in advance.  Yes, these are very important if you want to sit down and eat.  Most restaurants fill up, and walk ups to many of them, are going to be impossible to get.  If you are less than 180 days away, start booking ASAP.
  3. Are you celebrating anything when you go to Disney?  Anniversary, Birthday, First Visit, Personal Triumph, etc?  Let Disney know because they want to celebrate with you!  Be sure to pick up one of these buttons at check in.  If you have let them know ahead of time they should automatically give you a button at check in but if they don’t, ask for it.
  4. Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom is hard to get into for a dinner reservation.  So if you missed the window opportunity to get that one, be sure to grab one for breakfast or lunch.  It is a quick service for breakfast and lunch (and you can use your quick service meal off of your dining plan to eat there).  HOWEVER, NOTE THIS IMPORTANT PART……you MUST have a reservation for breakfast and lunch for this location.  You can make these reservations through your My Disney Experience.
  5. I cannot stress this enough, be sure you know what is going on during your stay.  You don’t want to miss something just because you did not know about it.  Some of the things that might be going on are:  Marathon races (there are several throughout the year), Flower and Garden Festival (Spring), Atlanta Braves Spring Training, Star Wars Weekends (May/June), Gay Days (June), Cars Masters Weekend (June), Sounds Like Summer Concert Series (Summer), Food and Wine Festival (Mid Sept to early Nov), Night of Joy (Sept), Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Sept/Oct), Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (Nov/Dec), Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (Nov/Dec) and Christmas at Disney World (Nov/Dec).  Be sure to check them all out.
  6. Another thing I cannot stress is be sure you get your fastpasses set up.  If you are a resort guest you can make these at 60 days in advance of your arrival.  Be sure to do this.  If you are not staying on Disney property and you have your tickets and linked them to your My Disney Experience then you can make them at 30 days in advance.
  7. One thing that our family likes to get is Pressed Pennies.  This is a fairly reasonable souvenir and fun to scout out.  If you go to www.presscoins.com you can find the complete list of pressed coins – these include pennies and quarters.

And last but not least, remember that there are too many things to do at Disney to get them all done in one visit.  So do what you can, but don’t stress yourself out trying to do it all!  I have been there and done that and it was NOT a magical vacation like I had envisioned.  ENJOY yourself!  So what did I miss?  Do you have anything to add to this?  Let me know in the comment section.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

Jan 03

It’s Disney World! Nothing Scary There! WRONG!

It’s the world’s happiest place on earth, Disney World!  Why nothing there could be scary!  Well, I have come to tell you just because it is the happiest place on earth does not mean everything is appropriate for all children.

I want to tell you about what might frighten young children.  If you are like me, I have a child who use to (and still does at times) gets frightened by things easily.  Are there rides, shows and restaurants that might scare your child?  YES!  While every child is different, and you know your child the best, there are things that could scare them.  This DOES NOT include rides that have drops that might scare your kids.  If your child doesn’t like roller coasters, I suggest looking at those on YouTube before you get them on one.

Here is my list and if I have forgotten something, please list it in the comments section.  Most of these we have first hand experience with.  I will try to describe what can scare the kids (our experience) and if you are still unsure, go to YouTube and check out the “ride” and shows.  Also, note restaurants too.  Some of those can scare children.

Let’s start with Magic Kingdom.  Just because your child is tall enough to ride something, don’t assume that they are mature enough.  It can still scare them if you have a tall 3 year old.

Haunted Mansion – our son didn’t make it past where they close the doors and before the room goes completely dark before he freaked out.  If your child(ren) has a fear of ghosts and dark enclosing rooms this might not be a ride for them.

Pirates of the Caribbean – we did this one when our son was 4 and he closed his eyes at the scary parts. Overall it isn’t too bad but if “bones” (what we used to call skeletons) scare your kids, there are a lot of those.  🙂

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – we never did this one when our son was younger (and he is “too old” to ride it now) but the Heffalumps & Woozles could scare young kids.

Stitch’s Great Escape – It’s just your lovable, mischievous Stitch!  WRONG!  This one even bothered me!  You go in a round room and are harnessed in (as in over the shoulder harnessed in) and Stitch is locked up but he gets loose.  Then the room goes completely BLACK and you can’t see your hand in front of your face and you cannot comfort your child except to hold their hand or reassure them with your hand on their leg.  Then you hear Stitch making a bunch of racket all around and he will breathe on your neck from time to time.  It is completely dark for what seems like FOREVER!  Yes, we have first hand experience with this and our son LOVES Stitch but he did NOT love this.  I kept reassuring him by talking to him through the darkness that it wasn’t real.  Just beware!

Now on to Epcot – we didn’t find anything there that really scared our son – it is actually his favorite park.  If fast rides might scare your children or even heights then be sure to review Test Track and Soarin’.  However, from a child that is scared of a good bit, those are 2 of his favorites.

Hollywood Studios, this park has a few things that could scare children.

Tower of Terror – this is all about ghosts and my husband has taken our son into the entrance and he said, “Nope!” and they left.  If they don’t like drops then this is one you do NOT want to take them on because that is all you do – up and down.

Great Movie Ride – while this is a very tame ride, there are 2 things that could scare someone.  The Gangster scene, our son still to this day, plugs his ears and closes his eyes when the gangsters start shooting and take over our vehicle.  Then the other thing that is REALLY CREEPY is the Alien in the Alien section.  Be sure your kids don’t look up into the ceiling and they should be fine.

So what about Animal Kingdom?  It’s all about animals – all warm and fuzzy right?  NOT!  There is one that tops my list.  While it offered us (my husband and I) a good laugh, our son HATED IT!

It’s Tough to be a Bug – yeah all bugs are our friends right.  NO!  Yes, I know this one tries to tell us that bugs are our friends but our son wanted no part of any bug being his friend.  He went on this at the age of 7 and still talks about it.  Pretend huge spiders drop from the ceiling, bees poke you in the back, stink bugs let out the stink, and on and on.  Let me preface this with – yes, again, he had his head in my lap – mind you he has had nightmares of snakes so bugs and stuff are not our friends.  But the biggest and funniest part for us, but not so much for him, was the end.  The humans are told to remain seated while the cockroaches, stinkbugs, etc. exit the building first and then rollers roll across your rear end to make it like they have just crawled across your rear.  Well, thankfully we were on the end because as soon as the doors opened on this “show” our son ran out the door smacking his rear and declared, “I think I need to go back to the room, because I think I have bugs in my booty!”  We have never laughed so hard!  To this day he still will not go on that again.

Dinosaur – that one has a dinosaur that sort of looks like it is coming at you.  Just beware on this one.  I can’t tell you too much because I had my son in my lap, again, telling him it was all o.k.  It is a jerky ride also.  I think the anticipation of that dinosaur was what scared him the most.

Last but not least, I must warn you of Rainforest Cafe.  I NEVER thought that would bother any child.  However, if your child has a fear of thunderstorms, this could cause them to get scared.  We can now eat there but we tried this 2 times when our son was younger and both times I had to take him out and show him it really wasn’t storming at all.  He thinks of tornadoes when there are thunderstorms.

So what did I miss?  Share your experience and details with us.  A helpful hint, take out your phone and distract your child when a scary part is coming up.  I did this.  I told him if he got scared to look at the phone and it provided a little light and some distraction to that particular section.