While it may sound simple, the process of getting from the line and into your ride vehicle at Walt Disney World can be a bit of a struggle, especially for first-timers, those with young kids, large parties, and those hauling lots of backpacks and shopping bags. So to help your transition onto your flying pirate ship, super-stretch limo, or safari vehicle, here are a few tips!
Guest with Young Children:
Ride vehicles at Walt Disney World vary by how many guests they can carry; and the commonly used moving ramps can be difficult to for toddlers or even elementary age kids to navigate. So for an easy transition, we suggest...
~Know ahead of time how many guests each ride vehicle accomodates and plan seating arrangements accordingly. Feel free to ask a Cast Member if you have any other questions.
~Carry your toddler or small child onto the ride or keep a firm hold of their hand.
~If your ride vehicle seats two, have your child board first so you can help them when necessary.
~If your child wants to be next to you during the ride, you may want to skip Space Mountain as each seat only seats one and are located directly in front of the other.
~If your ride vehicle seats more than two, have your child sit in the middle with two adults on either side.
~Prepare your child for getting aboard the ride. If he or she doesn't want to ride, or may put up a fuss when it's your turn to board, be prepared for this or just skip the attraction. It's no fun for you or anyone to wrestle a kid on a ride during a tantrum, especially when there is a long line of guests waiting behind you.
Guests with Large Parties:
For those of you with large families, meeting at WDW for a family reunion, or traveling with a team, tour group, and etc, getting everyone in your party aboard your ride vehicles can seem a little intimidating; and organization is definitely required.
~As previously stated, know how many guests each ride vehicle accomodates and plan accordingly. Plan who will ride with who before it's time to ride to climb aboard.
~Space Mountain will probably be the most difficult attraction for large groups because each rocket only seats 3 guests with each seat directly in front of the other.
~Want to know some attractions that can accomodate your party? Check out Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and any of the shows such as Mickey's Philharmagic, Hall of Presidents, or Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
~For a great group photo, ride Tower of Terror. Since this attraction seats so many, everyone in your group can be seen!
~Do your best to keep your group together, perhaps through assigning each person a ride partner.
~If your group gets FastPasses, designate one person to hold onto all of the FastPasses; and then distribute them to each person before you reach the attraction line.
Guests with Backpacks, Diaper Bags, and more!
So you're spending the whole day at the parks and you have young kids in tow; and you want to be able to haul your diaper bags, backpacks, shopping bags, and stroller from attraction to attraction with as much convenience as possible. If so, we recommend...
~Most the thrills rides at Walt Disney World have pouches built into the ride vehicle for you to store your belongings; but we personally don't trust our own stuff here and most bags are too big to fit. Instead, we recommend minizmizing what you bring to the parks or pack your stuff in knapsacks with drawstrings to maximize your space. We also recommend keeping your bags between your feet, and on thrill rides, wrapping the straps around your arm and tucking the bag next to you in the seat.
~If you do use the pouches in the vehicle, don't forget to collect your belongings later!
~There are lockers available at the parks to store your belongings, but be prepared to pay a fee!
~ Most of the kid friendly, dark rides have a lot of leg room to accomodate your bags.
~Pack only the essentials and return to your resort during the heat of the day to change clothes, get more snacks, toys, and etc.
~If you feel the need to pack bandaids or other First Aid items, know that at each Disney park there is a First Aid center providing what you need.
~Go ahead and remove your backpack or knapsack and carry them onto the ride, especially when boarding Rock n' Roller Coaster or dark rides where the lap bars come down automatically. It's difficult to remove these bags once you're seated and in a tight space.
~To save space, and to take advantage of some of Disney's finer dining experiences, invest in the Disney Dining Plan which allots you a number of meals and snacks a day. With this plan, you don't have to concern yourself with packing food or drinks. Instead, all you have to do is drop by a restaurant or cart, hand them your card, and then refresh and refuel without lugging extra baggage around the parks!
~If you are a Disney resort guest, know that when you purchase something at a store, you can have it delivered from the parks to your resort for free! Yes, I said, free! However, do be aware that it does take about a day or so to get arrive; but this way, you don't have to haul around shopping bags during your visits to the parks.
We hope our tips will help make your experience at many of Disney's attractions more enjoyable! If you have any tips to share, leave a comment and share them with us and other readers!
Everyone who has visited the Magic Kingdom before has their list of favorite attractions, snacks, or shows; and so do we! After several visits to this park over the years, we have a list of our favorite spots, treats, rides, and more that we look back on and look forward to enjoying again. So today we are sharing with you some of our favorite things at the Magic Kingdom so you can enjoy them too!
Pirates of the Caribbean-This classic attraction is traditionally the first attraction we head to on our first day!
Splash Mountain-This charming, southern ride into the cartoon world of Briar Rabbit never ceases to please; and it's thrills and storyline keep us coming back and sets the tone for our zipadeedoodah day!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad-This ride is full of laughs and thrills, from the dips that keep us guessing to the Western setting. Although, we rarely ever ride it during the day as it feels faster, and offers a different experience at night!
Peter Pan's Flight-This truly magical attraction makes us feel like we never grew up, just like Peter Pan, as it transports us back to our childhood days. This is especially true since it was a favorite of mine when I was young; and despite the long lines, I try to ride it each visit!
Mickey's Philharmagic-This 3-D show is a big favorite of ours as we get to see scenes from our favorite animated Disney classics all at one place, along with Mickey and Donald too! I especially like the Little Mermaid scene with the floating jewels and the scene from Aladdin where you truly feel as if you are flying through Agrabah on a magic carpet!
Tomorrowland Transit Authority WEDway People Mover-A family favorite that rarely, if ever, has a line. We hop aboard to cool off, rest our feet, and talk over our day and make more plans. Plus seeing inside Space Mountain is always cool!
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin-While Buzz Lightyear and blacklight is always cool, we enjoy competing against one another for the top score.
Carousel of Progress-This often overlooked classic attractions is another big favorite of ours. We enjoy the vintage charm and glimpses into daily life from the past; and we dare you not to feel happy after hearing that song?
Main Street Popcorn-It just tastes better here!
Dole Whip Float-At Aloha Isle in delicious, fresh pineapple juice. Yum!
Casey's Corner Corn Dog Nuggets-These are just awesome. You should definitely try them, especially if you have kids.
Columbia Harbor House Clam Chowder-This item is just as delicious to us as a dish from a signature restaurant.
Main Street Bakery Chocolate Croissants-My Disney Bro's fave.
Crystal Arts-This shop sells jewelry, glass statuettes, momentos, and our favorite, glass slippers!
Uptown Jewelers-This shop sells gorgeous jewelry, clothing, collectibles, and bags. It's one of our favorite stops to look for Disney Dooney and Bourke bags.
The Emporium-A massive store full of souvenirs; and we like to shop. Need we say more?
Frontier Trading Post-This is our favorite Magic Kingdom stop for pins.
Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe-We always like looking at Christmas decor, no matter what time of year it is; and we especially like the colonial setting!
Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade-We are more of a fan of this parade than the Main Street Electrical Parade. It's classy and full of our favorite characters.
Wishes!-This show is truly magical and may bring tears to your eyes. No Fourth of July display will ever be the same after seeing this show above Cinderella Castle; and be sure to keep an eye out for Tinkerbell!
The Magic, The Memories and You!-Projected on the castle right before Wishes, you just have to see this to believe it! It's touching and simply amazing. Don't miss!
The Briar Patch-This shop is located near the entrance to Splash Mountain and we like to wander about and relax in the rocking chairs. Be sure to look up and see the interior of Briar Rabbit's house overhead!
Second Story of Columbia Harbor House-Most people don't realize this counter service restaurant has a second floor; and we like to slip up here, enjoy some tea and clam chowder, and relax!
Railing in front of Crystal Palace-We like to head here to watch The Magic, The Memories, and You and Wishes! It's usually not very crowded either.
Main Street U.S.A.-While not exactly a hidden corner, this is still one of our favorite places at the Magic Kingdom. The details and old fashioned charm are a treat for the eyes and makes you feel right at home!
Are any of our favorite Magic Kingdom things some of your favorites? Share with us!
This week we are recommending:
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Do you have a sweet tooth? Feeling hungry? If so, just take a look at this Slow-melting
dessert from the Main Street Gazette.
We've seen this item at WDW and when we saw it again on the Disney Food Blog, we wanted to show it to you! If you like Disney Dining, check out Fat-Free Fun: Disney Theme Park Snack and Play Toy Set
Chip&Co.com had some great posts this week! These are two that interested me, Family Traditions at Walt Disney World and Top 10 Disney Foods I Never Get Tired Of!
At College Fashion.net, you can learn how to create outfits inspired by Disney characters. This week, check out Fashion Inspiration: Charlotte from Walt Disney’s The Princess And The Frog.
Located in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, there is a very different type of attraction for you to discover: Tom Sawyer Island!
In the middle of the Rivers of America, you will find an island that transports guests into the stories of Mark Twain! This attraction is different from most because you can explore what this island has to offer at your own pace and create your own experience!
Once your raft reaches Tom Sawyer Island, you can wander wherever you wish exploring caves hiding jewels, a playground, a huge frontier fort, wobbly, suspension bridges, wooded paths, and an old mill all while the Liberty Belle Riverboat floats by, just like in the old, lazy days on the Mississippi!
Tom Sawyer Island is a great place to escape from the crowds and the lines to take a leisurely stroll, or to let your kids explore and run off some energy! For guests who only have a limited time to experience the Magic Kingdom, we don't think Tom Sawyer Island is a priority; but for those with active kids, or guests looking for a quiet escape, here are some tips for when you take on this classic Disney attraction!
~The fort on Tom Sawyer Island is named Fort Langhorn, an ode to Mark Twain's real name, Samuel Langhorn Clemens!
~Tom Sawyer Island tends to open later than the rest of the park.
~Keep an eye out for a half-painted fence with a message from Tom! If you've read Tom Sawyer, this scene may remind you of a famous passage from the book!
~If you arrive at the island when it opens, keep an eye out for some paint brushes lying around. If you turn one in to a Cast Member, you may get a reward! Possibly even a FastPass!
~You are allowed to enter and explore Harper's Mill!
~Tom Sawyer Island provides guests some great views of Frontierland and Liberty Square, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Liberty Belle Riverboat!
~Inside Fort Langhorn, there is plenty of details to see. Be sure to look inside the Blacksmith shop; and also know that you can venture inside to explore the towers, play with the fake rifles, and pretend to shoot at imaginary invaders.
~ Be sure to stop and read the signs from Tom, his spelling and comments are sure to bring a smile to your face.
~Inside Fort Langhorn, there is a secrete passage so those inside the fort can escape!
~The raft ride from Frontierland to Tom Sawyer Island can lengthy and a little bumpy at times. Be sure to wear sunglasses and keep hold of your little ones.
~Tom Sawyer Island can be a little too hot and humid during the summer afternoons at the Magic Kingdom, especially for little ones.
Disney's Hollywood Studios isn't known for its variety of counter service spots; but one that we tend to gravitate to when our stomach's start to grumble is the ABC Commissary.
This restaurant is always cool inside, making it a great escape from the Florida humidity; and while it lacks a lot of personality, there are several glass cases displaying props and wardrobe pieces from popular ABC television programs. There are also TV screens located overhead throughout the restaurant showing ABC clips and commercials.
Recently Disney has made efforts to improve their counter service fare, and this cheeseburger from the ABC Commissary is an example. This burger came with lettuce, tomato, onions, and a pickle, as well as a few pieces of fried shrimp on top.
While I can't say it was the best burger I've ever had,or something that I would crave, I didn't leave hungry and I did appreciate the hearty offerings.
One of the standard desserts that you can usually find at most counter service restaurants at Disney World is chocolate mousse! While I'm a fan of Disney Dining, most of Disney's counter service fare is average, but rarely great. However, while this chocolate mousse isn't a culinary masterpiece, it is delicious and they give you plenty! Also, the chocolate shavings make it even better!
So our verdict is that this isn't the most delicious place to eat, or our favorite counter service spot at Disney World; but it gets the job done and has some suprisingly yummy eats to enjoy! Our Rating: 2.5 Glass Slippers.
So now it's your turn to tell us, what are some of your experiences with the ABC Commissary? What grade would you give it?
In Disney lingo, an ADR stands for an Advance Dining Reservation; and for anyone who wants to enjoy a delicious sit-down meal, minus the french fries and cafeteria setting, an ADR is almost always necessary. This is because, despite the variety of restaurants to choose from at the parks and resorts, many of them are very popular and fill up fast! This is especially true due to the Disney Dining Plan.
Disney recommends you make your ADRs when you book your vacation; and you can do so over the phone or online. We personally recommend you book online as you can adjust dining times and even change your reservations repeatedly at your own at your convenience. Also, if you're hunting for a reservation, you can look as much as you want and book a restaurant as soon as a time opens up! You can even book your ADRs online before you book your trip. We recommend you do so ASAP to take enjoy some Disney's best restaurants which can fill up months in advance, or if you are thinking about visiting Disney World. This is to make sure you will have reservations for whenever you do decide to book a trip. Note: Fortunately, as of now, Disney doesn't require you to book a trip in order to book dining reservations; and you won't be charged when you book or if you cancel.
Also when planning your ADRs, it is wise to book breakfasts or dinners. This way, you don't have to plan your day around a lunch reservation or waste the whole morning trying to get there. After all, getting around Disney World can be time consuming, especially with young children. Some guests even plan a loose schedule for their vacation and book their meals according to which park they plan to visit that day.
At Disney, dining isn't just meal. Almost every restaurant allows you to immerse yourself in a story or culture, or enjoy more Disney characters! Sometimes some of the best Disney memories can be made at one of Disney's restaurants. So when you visit Walt Disney World on your vacation, don't expect to be able to enjoy some of Disney's best meals and restaurants by simply walking up to the desk or by booking just a day or two in advance, plan ahead and book way in advance to maximize the magic!
Here are few popular Disney World restaurants that will need an ADR and that we recommend you visit on your vacation!
California Grill (Contemporary)
Chef Mickeys (Contemporary)
1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian)
Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge)
Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge)
Cape May Cafe (Beach Club)
Magic Kingdom Restaurants:
Cinderella's Royal Table
Liberty Tree Tavern
Le Cellier (Canada)
Les Chefs de France (France)
Akershus Storybook Dining (Norway)
Hollywood Studios Restaurants:
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
50s Prime Time Cafe
The Brown Derby
Animal Kingdom Restaurants:
Come check out other Wordless Wednesday posts or link up your own!
Smile! You're at Walt Disney World!
Located in Fantasyland, just around the corner from Castle Couture (to the right when facing the castle rear), you may find a fountain featuring a statuette of Cinderella!
This charming fountain fascinates and charms all who encounter it; and children may notice that the crown located on the background is positioned right on her head, a detail many adults miss because it depends upon your point of view!
Near the fountain there is a plaque which reads,
"La Fontaine de Cendrillon. Cinderella Fountain. Inspired by the French fairy tale and the Walt Disney film classic."
Cinderella Fountain is a great spot for a photo-op no matter what time of day because it is illuminated at night! It's also a treat for any Cinderella fan and is a sweet reminder that the gorgeous castle overhead belongs to this gentle and kind princess!
Be sure to look for this royal hidden gem on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom!
If you haven't already heard, Disney is re-releasing some of their classic films back into theaters across the country; but this time, in 3D! Last fall, they released The Lion King in 3-D and it was a huge box office success, especially for a movie which had been out of theaters for more than a decade. My Disney Bro and I headed to theater to see The Lion King back on the big screen during that time; and while some may argue why anyone would pay to see a movie they already own or could buy, there is just something magical about a film on the massive theater screen. In addition, seeing it in 3-D offered a new experience and only added to the film's grandeur.
Since The Lion King's success, Disney has announced a line-up of movies that they are releasing into the theaters in 3-D; and their most recent release, which is still in theaters, is Beauty and the Beast! This film is a big favorite in our house so yesterday, my Disney Mom and I headed to the theater to see this classic yet again.
Previews: First of all, we were treated to a sneak peek of Pixar's upcoming movie, Brave. ( It looks great by the way!) Also, we saw a preview for Finding Nemo, the next Disney film to be re-released into theaters in 3-D this fall. Finally, we got to see Tangled Ever After, a small short about Rapunzel and Flynn Rider's wedding day! The story is mainly about Maximus and Pascal as they lose and then struggle to recapture Rapunzle and Flynn's wedding rings. There are plenty of gags along the way, including the village's fanfare over their own "Royal Wedding." Also, we get to hear one of Rapunzel's parent's speak; and almost all of the characters from the film have a small and clever cameo in this short.
The Movie: As expected, Beauty and the Beast was stunning. After watching this movie on the small screen for so many years, I was amazed at how much detail there is to see; and the 3-D format only contributed to this fact, as well as drew viewers even deeper into the film. I felt like I was actually being taken through the trees to reach the castle, or being taken past gargoyles on my way to the West Wing.
By far the best scene of the movie, as we all knew it would be, was the ballroom scene. While it was breathtaking before, it is even more stunning this time around; and while the camera panned down from the gorgeous chandelier onto the dancing couple below, I almost felt the sensation of flight. The stars and snow falling outside the windows also delivered an amazing effect in 3-D as well.
Another impressive scene was the opening number, "Belle," where she is walking through the village as the people go about their everday lives. This scene was also very different in 3-D and I noticed details and people that I never had before. Finally, after the movie, be sure to notice the rough, sketch drawings of the characters which serve as a background for the closing credits. They are in 3-D too!
The Verdict: In conclusion, I enjoyed seeing this amazing Disney movie on the big screen yet again; and seeing it in 3-D offered a different view of an old favorite. Our Rating: 5 Glass Slippers. But the real question is, is it worth the 3-D price to see a familiar movie? I have to admit, the price is steep, especially for a movie that is sitting one of my shelves at home; but for me, it was worth it to experience Beauty and the Beast in a theater again. I would ask yourself is it worth it to you; and if you decide yes, then I'm sure you will enjoy it!
This week we are recommending:
CollegeFashion.net posted Fashion Inspiration: Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille
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Looking for a great souvenir? WDW for Grownups.com has an idea with Treasured Souvenirs: Pick-A-Pearl at Walt Disney World
Port Orleans Riverside is one of our favorite Disney resorts, and we think their restaurant, Boatwrights, is a hidden gem. Check out Guest Review: Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside
.At Inside the Magic.net, see Video: ‘Rock the Night’ fireworks show entertains Disney World guests for one night only at Hollywood Studios.
Check out my Chip&Co.com article, Top 5 Hollywood Studios Hidden Details! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Magical Blogorail Red discussed what Disney Magic means to them. To read more, hop aboard now at A World View! Also, our own Magical Blogorail Orange loop shared our favorite Disney snacks! Yum! Board the first stop at Heidi's Head!
Also be sure to see Chip&Co.com's new article,Spring Break At WDW – How to Deal With the Crowds.