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A Week at Walt Disney World with TravelingMom

I’m heading to Walt Disney World with TravelingMom today! We’ll be bringing you lots of great Disney updates around the parks all week long so be sure to follow the hashtags #TMOM and #TMOMDisney.

A Week at Walt Disney World with TravelingMom

The TravelingMom conference will be taking place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but I’ll be there a few days early with my little ones to explore. We’re going to be taking in some of the free things around the Disney World resort, like touring the resort hotels, attending a campfire and singalong and watching the Electrical Water Parade. Temperatures will be around 90 degrees so you can bet we’ll be spending plenty of free time in the pools too!

Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

My 1-yr old daughter, 5-year old son and I will be starting off the week at Port Orleans Riverside. We spent one overnight here several years ago and fell in love with the peaceful grounds. We even stayed in one of the beautiful princess themed rooms last time! We’re looking forward to exploring more of this beautiful resort.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

The TravelingMoms are staying at this beautiful resort this year, my first stay at a deluxe resort. Before we meet up for our first conference day, I’m going to be sure to take the kids swimming at Stormalong Bay (you’ll find me floating in the lazy river!) The kids and I also have an Advanced Dining Reservation booked for Beaches & Cream Soda Shop (“No Way Jose”, here I come!)

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Our final overnight will be at this colorful sprawling resort and I’m looking forward to the Fuentes del Morro pool. All dining establishments here going to be refurbished starting the following day of our visit, so I’m hoping that everything will still be operating business as usual (we’re planning on having Mickey waffles for breakfast here on our last day!)

Spending Time in the Parks and Beyond

For several days I’ll be with my two littles on my own. I’ve traveled to Disney alone with my baby before, so I’m not worried about that at all. And my preschooler has never had a meltdown at Disney, he’s always up for fun and adventure!

We’ll be hitting up Magic Kingdom for dinner at Be Our Guest, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. World Showcase at Epcot is something my aspiring world-traveler wants to explore more this visit and we’re hoping to see Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on this visit as well.

Walt Disney World Restaurant Review - 50's Prime Time Cafe

Walt Disney World- Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The decorated Easter eggs will still be on display at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian Resorts so we’re going to stop in and see them. We’re going to grab a Dole Whip at the Polynesian. And dinner on Tuesday evening will be at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, some place I’ve been wanting to visit for years!

I hope that you’ll follow me on social media this week. Please like and comment so I know you’re enjoying the coverage and I look forward to bring you more content about the Parks when I return from my trip!

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK THIS WEEK

How to Navigate Holiday Crowds at the Disneyland Resort #TMOM

It’s a very merry Christmas season at the Disneyland Resort! How can you navigate the crowds and still make sure to have a magical time? Follow these 11 tips on my most recent post at Traveling Moms.

How to Navigate Holiday Crowds at the Disneyland Resort #TMOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Traveling Mom has Gone Around the World!

I have been writing for Traveling Mom for the last few months and love being able to write about my experiences. I don’t nearly travel as much as I’d like but because I live in a tourist city, I can satisfy my travel itch with day trips. That’s why my niche is as the Day Trips Traveling Mom! Here are a few of my articles. I’d love if you stopped by and shared or pinned.


Walt Disney World Magical Express Bus – What I Loved (and my $80 mistake)

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Avoid August and 21 Other Surprises Discovered on an Adventure Abroad

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How to Encourage Shy Kids to be Brave at Disney

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Wonderment Abounds at Medieval Times in Buena Park, CA

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What to Eat at Pike Place Market in Seattle if You Don’t Like Seafood

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11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

I just returned last night from my first Walt Disney World trip! It was a whirlwind vacation, that’s for sure. I was visiting during a writer’s conference with Traveling Mom. I was able to invite three guests and brought along my mom, brother and three-year old son (my husband and older kids all were in school). My family and I padded the visit with extra days on the front and back end of the retreat. I would have rather stretched the trip out twice as long so as to have had time to relax and truly be in the moment. 4 days just wasn’t enough, but it was amazing all the same!

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip


These are the 11 things that were most wonderful, magical (and patience-testing) on my first Walt Disney World trip-

1. The Walt Disney World resorts are beautiful. From the brilliant green lawns, to the thick tree lined roads everything is well-maintained. Just as we’ve become accustomed to the cleanliness of the Disneyland resort, so is WDW. I never saw errant trash or anything out of place. There is a resort employee or cast member there whenever you need one.

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

Lush, green and humid! The Walt Disney World Resorts are so pretty.

2. Magic Bands…wow! I don’t know if anything like this could happen at Disneyland (since so many of the Guests there are annual passholders or day trippers) but Magic Bands really are amazing. This little rubber bracelet holds all the information for your trip including your room key, credit card, park tickets and FastPass+ reservations. When we dined at Be Our Guest Restaurant, we’d already placed our order online several days earlier so we seated ourselves in the dining area when we arrived. Within a few minutes our food was magically delivered to our table (aka: GPS signals found where we were seated).

3. And with technology, sometimes you hit a snag. Once we arrived at the Coronado Springs Resort (our hotel for the first three days) the check-in process was slowed by the fact that we’d not received Magic Bands in the mail. Tickets, credit cards and room were assigned to the bands but it was a laborious process that took over 45 minutes.

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

Coronado Springs Resort

4. Huge resorts = Lots of walking. I’m used to Disneyland, where Disney California Adventure Park is literally feet away. And Downtown Disney and the Resort hotels are all reasonably close. At Walt Disney World, everything is so BIG and spread out so it definitely takes some getting used to. Fortunately there is a wonderful shuttle transport system that is free to resort guests so getting around to the parks and back to our hotel was never a problem.

5. We were at Walt Disney World and running on adrenaline so it was easy to brush off the fact that some things just weren’t going smoothly. It wasn’t Disney’s fault, we’ll blame this one on the airline. By the time we arrived at the hotel, ate dinner and got into our room, it had been over 3 1/2 hours since we’d gotten off the plane. Yet our luggage was not in the room (we’d been told it would take about 2 hours). I called to the bell desk but was told that unfortunately our luggage was not in Resort possession yet.

It was late and we were exhausted. We fell asleep in our clothes, without pajamas, toothbrushes or hairbrushes. I wasn’t until the next day that we found out our checked bags had not made the plane transfer in Dallas. It would be a full 24 hours until we had the bags in our possession again. I received a call in the afternoon from bell services letting me know when my bags had been found, which I truly appreciated.

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

Beaming with excitement!

6. Definitely pack your good attitude and patience in your carry on bag! I’d brought a change of clothes for both me and my little one on the plane but my mom & brother had only checked their bags and had nothing with them. But Disney couldn’t wait and we just did what we had to do. We finger combed our hair and hopped on the transport bus to the Magic Kingdom!

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

A Mickey Bar fixes all problems, right?

7. It’s similar. It’s familiar. But it’s definitely not the same. I’m referring to the Magic Kingdom, which I’d heard is just the “same as Disneyland”. It’s not. Yes, some rides have the same name (like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean) but they are not identical. And we loved visiting old classics like Country Bear Jamboree and the Carousel of Progress that closed at Disneyland years ago. Cinderella Castle is enormous. And we enjoyed the song and dance number that opens the Park and wish they did that at rope drop for Disneyland!

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

Opening Ceremonies at Magic Kingdom

8. Epcot is as beautiful as the pictures. This was such an amazing park, with added beauty from the incredible topiaries and gardens spread around for the Flower & Garden Festival. I really liked the sharp contrasts of Future World and the World Showcase, made harmonious by the lovely flowers. We sampled at the outdoor kitchens and ended the night with a viewing of Illuminations. There was a lightning storm that entertained us through the dark clouds before the show began.

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

9. I was brave. I rode roller coasters that I might have normally balked at (Expedition: Everest!) I tattled on my brother at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe and told our waitress that my brother didn’t finish his vegetables! I broke out of my comfort zone and chatted with the Traveling Moms during the conference despite that I’m usually reserved around new people. It was a chance for new opportunities.

10. We kept ourselves open to surprise throughout the trip. My three-year old was delighted by the speed of Test Track but refused to ride on Peter Pan’s Flight and burst into tears! Our room for the final night of our stay was at the Port Orleans: Riverside. What a lovely surprise to see our room theme in an intricate princess design that included a special light-up feature in the headboard!

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

Disney’s Magical Express takes you to and from the airport

11. The final surprise came when we were preparing to leave for the airport and we were refused passage on the Magical Express bus. Imagine my facial expression when I found out that we were supposed to have received paperwork on our door informing us about the time for our bus transfer to the airport…we didn’t and I was unaware of how the process worked. I thought you just showed up and they took you to the airport, I didn’t realize it required a reservation! Unfortunately we were too late to ride the Magical Express bus back to the airport and had to spring for a taxi. And now we know! It was a lesson learned and I should have done more research on the topic instead of assuming how the process worked.


Despite the challenges, we had an amazing trip. Traveling with a three-year had it’s own set of rules but we just went with the flow and didn’t over think things too much. Next time we’ll stay longer to allow for more relaxation and poolside lounging!

11 Wonderful, Magical and Patience-Testing Experiences on my First Walt Disney World Trip

All smiles at the end of our adventure!


Portions of this trip were compensated. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I’m a Traveling Mom! #TMOM

La Jolla, CA

I’m so fortunate to live in a tourist paradise, sunny Southern California! As a San Diego native I have had the privilege to explore so many beautiful places just outside my front door. But there are many more that I’ve yet to experience! It’s my goal to try new and exciting things in my own area and share the reviews with you all. If there is anything I like to do, it’s to brag about my lovely hometown. And what better place than at TravelingMom.com!

I have been so blessed to have been invited to post as a permanent author on Traveling Mom. I recently had three guest author articles listed and have several more in the works, all with a SoCal spin.

SoCal Traveling Mom, Julie Bigboy

The motto of Traveling Mom is “We’ve Been There”. You’ll find articles and reviews for locations around the World. Before your next trip, check the Traveling Mom site because chances are, one of the writers has a review about it!

Traveling Mom, We've Been There!

Thank you to Traveling Mom for accepting me into the flock. I can’t wait to post my SoCal experiences and share them with the world! Please consider following along with me and posting a comment on my articles at TravelingMom.com.


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