What to Wear in the Parks – Best Disney Outfits for Kids


What to Wear in the Parks? These are the Best Disney Outfits for Kids

You’ve already planned your DisneyBound outfits for your upcoming magical vacation and now it’s time to pack up for the kids! How can you find the best Disney outfits for kids? You’ll need outfits that are practical, comfortable as well as cute. After all you’ll be taking lots of pictures of them on vacation so clothes should be a well-thought out part of the planning process.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are sharing ideas to help you decide what to wear to the Disney Parks. Welcome aboard!

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and purchasing via my links help me in a small financial way, thank you!

Best Disney Outfits for Kids – The Basics to Consider

These are the things to consider when choosing Disney outfits for the kids:

  • What’s the weather going to be like? Will the kids be comfortable mostly in shorts? Will you need a jacket for layering?
  • How many days of clothing will you need?
  • Do you want the kids to dress in costume?
  • Are you aiming for head to toe looks or just a dash of Disney?


If you’re looking for just a dash of Disney in your vacation look, the best place to start is with a themed tee. I like to pair a themed tee with denim or patterned shorts. Your local stores like Target probably have a good variety of tees at decent prices. The Disney Store online often has specials on their graphic tee designs.

Mickey Mouse Toddler Tee, Tsum Tsum Tee, Pixar Tee

For a special souvenir, consider purchasing a tee at the Parks on the first day of your trip to have the kids wear during the vacation.

Cant go wrong with a tee!

Cant go wrong with a tee!

Minnie Mouse Tee, Captain America Tee, Star Wars Stormtrooper Tee

Make it Yourself

If you’re feeling creative or you like to get crafty, designing your own tee is a unique way to show your Disney side.  A simple rubber stamp and fabric paint gives a colorful look that is quick to achieve. Kids can definitely do this themselves!

Rubber stamp and fabric paint

Rubber stamp and fabric paint

Try this technique for hand painting a Disney design onto a tee for a unique look you won’t see on anyone else! Dory Handpainted Tee Tutorial

Paint Your Own Finding Dory T-Shirt

Try one of these simple sewn tees that are fun for beginners. Mickey pumpkin tee tutorial or I Love Mickey applique tutorial

diypumpkintee1  HeartTee-14

More advanced seamstresses can try applique for a durable and unique style nobody else’s kid will be wearing. Can’t sew? A search on Etsy for appliqued or silkscreened Disney-themed tees will find you something fun for the kids.

IMG_2098 jack


Head to Toe Look

Do you like to see your kids styled Disney from head to toe? One of my favorite places to find a head to toe look is on Etsy. You’ll be able to find something very unique and you help support small business as well.


If you can follow a basic pattern, try finding a fun Disney-themed fabric print and make matching outfits for your group. A dress or skirt for the girls and shorts for the boys and they’ll be the envy of everyone in the parks! Disney Lilo and Stitch Many Faces of Stitch Blue Fabric, Disney Emojiland Toy Story Character Toss Blue Fabric, Disney Snow White 7 Dwarfs Fabric

This pattern below is for the same dress and I just tweaked it by changing the length, adding some sweet details (like ribbon on the bodice) and fun applique.

149 073a

Pink Disney Mickey Mouse Character Toss Fabric , Disney Alice in Wonderland Always Curious In Pink Blush Fabric, Disney Finding Dory All Smiles Multi Fabric By The Yard

Or take a t-shirt that’s a bit too small and re-purpose it with knit fabrics into a totally unique dress!


Disney Princess Ariel Sketches Little Mermaid KNIT Fabric, Marvel Comic Wall KNIT Fabric, Disney Minnie Jersey Knit Heather Grey


For the love of all things, please have your kids wear real, practical shoes and not those plastic dress-up shoes with heels! Oh, I’ve seen little girls shuffling through the parks in those plastic shoes and I can imagine the melt-down that would ensue when said shoes cause sore feet and blisters (because they totally will).

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Rock wall climbing in Disney California Adventure park in his pediped shoes

I adore pediped for my kids in their everyday wear and there are some adorable designs that are appropriate for wearing at the Parks. pediped Flex Sahara Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid). pediped Grip-N-Go Betty Mary Jane (Toddler), pediped Flex Minnie Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid), pediped Flex Jacqueline Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid),



Kids 12 and under can wear costumes in the Parks. What you’ll need to consider is the practicality of wearing a glitter-encrusted gown while boarding roller coasters and if it’s a good idea for your family or child.

Disney Princess Toddler Cinderella costume, Buzz Lightyear Classic Little Kid’s Costume, Disney Elena Of Avalor Adventure Dress

A few things to think about before dressing the kids in costume:

  • Is the costume weather-appropriate?
  • Is the fabric breathable?
  • Is the costume itchy?
  • Will your child wear the costume all day or will they want to change out of it?
  • Take a good look at the length and sizing (I’ve seen so many little princesses with their gowns dragging on the ground or falling off their shoulders because the dress is too big).

Disney Prince Charming Child Costume, Rapunzel Classic Disney Princess Tangled Costume, Disney’s Deluxe Jake and the Neverland Pirates

I recommend buying the costume early and letting your child try it on to make sure it’s a good fit for them as well as comfortable. You’d hate for your child to be complaining because the elastic in the sleeves is too tight or they’re overly hot.


Accessories are a nice way to add just a little touch of Disney to your child’s ensemble. Accessories are fun to buy inside the Disney parks but so much cheaper to purchase them ahead of your trip!

Accessories I’d skip: Wigs, wings, masks, swords and wands. Pretty much anything that your child will want to remove in the park, that makes it hard to get on and off the rides or items that you don’t want to be stuck holding when your child doesn’t want to hold it anymore!

Hats are always a great idea at the Disney parks, especially when the sun is blazing.

Finding Nemo HatDarth Vader HatBaymax Hat

Darth Vader Baseball Cap for Kids - Walt Disney World

Sunglasses are great for blocking out the sun (and wearing them during the day helps keep my kids less cranky too, when they aren’t squinting in the bright sun).


Socks and shoes are a fun (and practical!) way to show your Disney love! Finding Dory knee socks, Star Wars socksPrincess socks

Vans Kids Classic Slip-On-Mickey Mouse, Vans Kids Classic Slip-On-Wonderland, Vans Kid’s/Youth Era Shoes Disney Pixar Aliens Toy Story

Be sure to check out this free printable packing list for kids traveling to Disney!

Disney Trip Packing List-PIN

For more Dressing for Disney posts,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Dressing for the Parks

BIG Disney Vacation GIVEAWAY from ParkSavers!!

BIG Disney Vacation GIVEAWAY from ParkSavers!! Win a 3-night vacation to your choice of Disneyland or Walt Disney World

How to Save Money on Disney Park Tickets & Vacations

Discounted Park tickets to Disneyland can be elusive. In the past, discounts have been reserved to Southern California locals or those working in specific professions. I’ve had ParkSavers as one of my affiliates for a while now and there are several great reasons why. Any guest can save money by purchasing their Park tickets up front through ParkSavers, even on non-Park Hopper tickets! You can even book a hotel or a full vacation package through ParkSavers and save on your trip. Vacation packages even include some special features like a savings card that can be used in the Downtown Disney District.

If you’re looking outside of Disney, ParkSavers also offers discounts to other destinations including Universal Studios Orlando, Disney’s Aulani Resort and Las Vegas.

BIG Disney Vacation GIVEAWAY from ParkSavers!! Win a 3-night vacation to your choice of Disneyland or Walt Disney World

ParkSavers is offering my readers a VERY BIG Disney Vacation giveaway!

ParkSavers will be awarding one winner four 2-day tickets to either park (Walt Disney World or Disneyland, whichever the winner chooses) and a 3-night stay at a Disney Resort Hotel (location to be determined). This giveaway to open to anyone (18+) and the winner will be chosen and rewarded by ParkSavers. The giveaway will run March 28th – April 4th and there are several ways to earn your entries!


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Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY!

Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY

Disney and Jamberry have collaborated to bring you designs straight out of your dreams! The Disney Collection by Jamberry is everything I always wanted in a wrap to wear at the Happiest Place on Earth.

And the cherry on top? I’m offering you a Jamberry giveaway to get these amazing wraps in your hands! Keep reading on how to enter.

Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY   Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY

As a Disney fan, this is truly a dream come true. I mean, seriously these Sleeping Beauty wraps are absolutely stunning, aren’t they?! I love that they are so perfectly coordinated so you can mix and match too.

GIVEAWAY - Disney Collection by Jamberry


Since I’ve started wearing Jamberry, I’ve always coordinated my wraps when taking a Disney trip. I wore Black and White Skinny, Sunny Lotus and Poppy & White Polka (all soon to be retired at the end of February) on last year’s trip to Walt Disney World. I adore Minnie and these Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps so perfectly embody her! Which version do you prefer…classic red or the sophisticated chic look?

GIVEAWAY - Disney Collection by Jamberry  GIVEAWAY - Disney Collection by Jamberry


I can’t WAIT to put the Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps on your hands! Whether you’re planning a vacation or simply just love to show your DisneySide at home, these wraps are simply gorgeous. And the collection is available starting TODAY!!

These Little Mermaid inspired Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps are so perfect…I can’t decide which one I want to wear first.

GIVEAWAY - Disney Collection by Jamberry


I’m hosting a giveaway here on my blog of a $25 Jamberry gift card that you can use to purchase any Jamberry products on the website, including the Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps, Going, Going, Gone styles or anything else on the website that “rocks your dots”. I’ll also send you one of these new Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps!

GIVEAWAY - Disney Collection by Jamberry

If you can’t WAIT for the giveaway to end and just HAVE to buy them now, these Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps are available NOW through my link.

I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant so please email me if you have any questions about Jamberry wraps, the Disney Collection by Jamberry or if you are interested in hosting your own Jamberry party in-home or online!

Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY  Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY

If you’ve been considering becoming a Jamberry Independent Consultant there is no better time than NOW!!! In the month of February, you’ll receive $25 off the cost of your consultant kit as well as two bonus wraps in your kit. The icing on the cake is the new introduction of the Disney Collection by Jamberry, which is sure to be a highly desirable product. If you’ve been on the fence, now’s the time to JOIN Jamberry!! (P.S. The 30-40% commission is lovely too!!)

Message me or email at for more info. You can also join up via this link.

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Participants in this giveaway will be added to my subscription list for my Jamberry newsletter. You can easily opt-out if you decide you’d rather not receive this newsletter.

Giveaway is open only to residents of USA and Canada
Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY


What’s on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

All Disney fans have one. Perhaps it’s an actual written list or it might just be a mental list of things that make you say, “I’d LOVE to do that someday!” The Disney bucket list is fiercely personal. Each person has their top list of “must-do” in their lifetime items and this is what’s on mine.

What’s on your ultimate Disney bucket list?

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

Vacation Bucket List

Go to Disneyland – It’s where the magic began. I’ve been lucky to enough to live close to the Park and have been visiting frequently since 1974. As I’m leaving the gates at the end of the day, I’m always planning my next return so I guess even though I can cross this off my list, it remains a constant.

Go to Walt Disney World – I was able to cross this off my bucket list last April on my first trip to Orlando. It was everything I’d hoped for…and more! There is so much to explore here that I cannot wait to go back and experience it again (so it stays on my list!)

Take a Disney Cruise – With sailings that cover the globe, this is definitely one of my must-do Disney items. From the interactive dinners, the private beach Castaway Cay to the amazing Broadway-style entertainment, this is an all-inclusive experience I have to do.

Visit Aulani, Disney’s resort hotel in Hawaii – I’ve never been to Hawaii so that’s on my travel list anyway. Why not stay at Aulani? I love that the children’s supervised activity center, Aunty’s Beach House, is included in the price of your stay.

Go on an Adventures by Disney – After my husband and I traveled to Europe in 2014, we are determined to someday get our children there for vacation as well. What would be better suited to children than an Adventure by Disney tour that is customized for all guests to enjoy. I like that there are supervised activities for the kids so that the adults can have grown-up time, too.

Visit the Disney Parks in other countries – Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and coming soon to Shanghai. So familiar and yet, so different. Tokyo Disney Sea looks breathtaking.

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

Inside the Parks –

Dine at every restaurant inside the Parks – I’ll admit that I’ve eaten at every restaurant inside of Disneyland over the years but am still working my way around the eats at Disney California Adventure Park. Top dining on my list: Carthay Circle. With only one trip to Walt Disney World under my belt, I still have lots of dining to experience there.

Get autographs or photos with all of the Disney characters – Easier said than done, because some characters only make appearances at special events!

Dine at Club 33 inside Disneyland – I’ll  need a special invite for this one. Anyone? Anyone…

Attend a 24 hour event – Pace yourself! Yes, on one day each year, the Parks offer a 24 hour day, can you make it the entire time? I’d like to try!

runDisney – Am I a runner? Nope! But those beautiful medals and being able to run through the Parks is incentive enough for me to lace up my running shoes! I will do this one.

Dress up and attend Dapper Day – I just love the idea of dressing up to enjoy the Parks (so long as I can have cute but comfortable shoes!)

Visit Disney for all seasons – It’s a different experience depending upon the time that you visit, for sure! Disney does a wonderful job of decorating the Parks for each season, even down to the colorful arrangements in the flower beds.

What's on Your Ultimate Disney Bucket List?

Attend Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland or Mickey’s “Not-so-Scary” Halloween Party at Walt Disney World – Though I’ve been to Disneyland during Halloween Time, I’ve yet to experience any of the ticketed Halloween evening events. I love seeing families dress up though it’s still in the air how this will play out in October given the new security policy.

Attend Mickey’s “Very Merry Christmas Party” at Walt Disney World – Holiday atmosphere, entertainment, Mickey dressed up like “Santa”? And it all takes place at the Magic Kingdom? Sounds like a holiday must-do to me!

Spend the night in the Dream Suite at Disneyland or Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom – You can’t buy your way into this one, you’ll either have to win a contest or be invited. But wow, what a dream that would be for sure, to sleep inside the Parks!


At the Disney Resort –

Stay at all of the Disney Park Resort hotels – With only 3 in California this could be do-able (I’ve yet to stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa). However you’ll have to stay at 27 Resort hotels at Walt Disney World to cover them all!

Have a Disney wedding – “I do” want to renew my vows at Disney but you can be sure that weddings and vow renewals a la Disney are big bucks.

Disney Vacation Club – Membership allows you to stay at exclusive villas at the resorts or use your points to vacation around the world.

Image from Disney – Affiliate Link

Join D23, the official Disney fan club – I’ve been a Disney fan all my life, why not make it official and join the club? You’ll receive a quarterly publication, there are special member events and exclusive merchandise available for purchase.

We were served a lovely breakfast and given time to chat. I position myself near the front since my vision isn't the best (and I didn't want to miss anything!) There was a lot of valuable information and I captured as much as I could via my laptop so I could share here with you. Buckle up and here we go!

Disney Close to Home – 

Watch (and/or own) every Disney movie – I’ve seen a lot of them and we own a lot of them, but not all of them!

See a Disney on Ice Show- My kids (and I!) would love to see one of these traveling shows.

See a Disney Broadway show – If you can make it to NYC, these showstoppers are a must-see. The shows also have a North American tour so perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see it in your hometown.

Have a Disney-themed room – Pinterest is the perfect place to start if you want to design your own Magic Kingdom at home. Even if you don’t go top to bottom Disney, a few well-chosen posters, mementos and design features help you capture the magical spirit. I have this poster from Vivid Editions that will be hung near the new baby’s bed.

Get invited to the big Disney Social Media Moms Event – Yes, I had the great opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road event in Portland in late spring and it was fantastic. I’d love to make it onto the invite list to join other bloggers in Orlando for the invite-only event in the late spring *fingers crossed*

Okay, what are YOUR Disney bucket list items? Share in the comments!

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Looking for ways to save on your Disney vacation?  I recommend Park Savers for discount Disney tickets! (affiliate link)

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Disney Trip FREE Printable – Packing List for Kids

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids that they can use to pack for themselves!

When traveling with kids, packing for any extended vacation takes advanced planning and organization. And for a Disney trip, packing all you need is essential since most (if not all of your time) will be spend on Resort property. You certainly don’t want to have to make a side trip if someone forgot to pack something essential. Keep reading for my Disney trip packing list for kids.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some Disney trip printables to help you plan your vacation.

Disney Trip Packing List for Kids

I’m a HUGE list maker! I honestly make lists for everything. It helps me stay organized leading up to a trip, when planning, packing and yes, even when putting everything back into the suitcase to come home. Don’t want to leave anything behind!

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and making a purchase through the links helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids

Even with the best laid plans, sometimes things go awry! On one Disneyland road trip, my husband put our toddler in the car without his shoes on and it wasn’t until we were a block from the Resort did we realize that he didn’t have any shoes!

Quick stop at Target and all was good. But hopefully you can avoid extra stops and with these Disney trip printables from the Blogorail team, you’ll be organized and prepared!

Be sure to also check out my other printable packing lists –

Traveling With a Baby in Diapers – FREE Baby Packing List Printable!

Mom’s Disney Packing List – FREE Printable!

Expectant Mom’s Complete Disney Packing List of Important Needs

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids that they can use to pack for themselves!

Let The Kids Pack

My goal is to have my kids pack their own travel bags. I’ve created a list that is straightforward and that kids can check-mark off as they go. Nobody will forget their shoes if they follow this list!

Open and print a copy for each child and they’ll be prepared to pack up their own Disney vacation bag! Keep reading for the free printable.

Helpful Packing Tips for Kids –

Keep it Small

Consider smaller sized travel items that will fit inside one zippered pouch. Don’t worry about shampoo & conditioner since the hotel will have those available. You can pick up small body wash bottles at Bath & Body Works. Choose toothbrushes that are on the shorter size that will fit inside the pouch. Use a compact hairbrush that folds up or pack a travel sized version to preserve space.

Bundle Up

Bundle outfits into a stack with everything they’ll need to wear for the day (socks, undies, shorts, tee, hair accessories, etc) and then slide the bundle into a large zip-close bag. Press the air out of the bag before sealing shut. At the end of the day, fold the dirty clothes back into the bag and zip it shut. This keeps the dirty clothes from getting mixed in with the clean clothes and it keeps your hotel room from stinking like a dirty gym sock.

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids that they can use to pack for themselves!

Use and reuse zip-close bags for travel

It’s also so much easier to pack when there are individual bags with the air squeezed out. I even go so far as to label the day of the week on each bag so they can pick it out and get dressed each morning without fuss. Reuse the bags for your next trip.

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids

Neat and Tidy

Pack a small pop up mesh hamper for kids to toss their dirty clothes or shoes into when they return from the park. This will eliminate the “Where’s my right sandal?!” in the morning. Have kids store their personal toiletries in individual travel toiletry bag. This keeps the bathroom counter neat and tidy and nobody is looking for their toothbrush when you stagger back to the room late at night.

The Park Bag

Have a “Park bag”, aka: backpack for each child. I found one that my son uses for Disney trips on Etsy and it’s embroidered with his last name. Kids older than about 6 yrs old can use a backpack that holds their supplies for the day. Find something that your kids can easily take off by themselves when getting on rides.

Kids can keep track of their own snacks, souvenir money and maps. I know my son is always proud to carry his own Disney bag through the day (so long as it’s not overloaded and too heavy!)

Disney Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids

Ready to let the kids pack their own Disney luggage and park bag?

Click here for your FREE Disney Trip Kids Packing List!

For more Disney trip printables,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Trip Printables Loop:

What packing tips do you have when taking kids on a Disney vacation? Please share in the comments!

Disney for free?! Don’t Spend a Penny Inside the Parks…Here’s How!


Walt Disney World and Disneyland for free?! Don't Spend a Penny Inside the Parks...Here's How!

Everyone knows that a Disney vacation is expensive! But once you have your Park tickets and are inside the gates, you have a choice how much you’d like to pinch pennies or break the bank. What if I told you that you could have an entirely cost-free day inside the Parks, essentially a day at Walt Disney World or Disneyland for free? These are tried and true insider tips from someone who’s gone to the Parks many times on a dime (namely, me!)

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase through these links helps me in a small financial way, so thank you!

Read on for my helpful tips about taking on Walt Disney World and Disneyland for free!

Disneyland for free?! Don't Spend a Penny Inside the Parks...Here's How!

Getting into the Park – Money Saving Tips!

Sorry you can’t jump the fence, you’ll still need to buy your tickets! I recommend doing so upfront to save time at the gate. Follow these rules to buying tickets and still save a few dollars.

  • Do not be tempted to purchase from Ebay, on Craigslist or from a seller on the side of the street! Sellers might offer you the extra days left on their multi-day passes but this is a risky move that might cause a loss of your money so don’t do that!
  • Park tickets should only be purchased from the Disney Parks website, Costco, trusted travel agent or through CityPass. I like Park Savers because you can save several dollars on the cost of each ticket as well as knowing you are buying from a reliable seller.

Park Savers affiliate link

  • Note that the multi-day passes save overall as the price per day is lower. If you plan on a longer visit or will be visiting more often than once a year, consider an Annual Pass. Annual Passes also have the option of pay-per-month installments.
  • Keep in mind that if your child is 2 or under, they don’t require a Park ticket so their entry is free!
  • When my family asks me, “What do you want for your birthday?” or “What do the kids want for Christmas?”, request Disney gift cards! They can be used at Walt Disney World or Disneyland towards Park tickets, dining and souvenirs. You can even buy personalized cards online with the recipient’s photo on it.


  • Get a Disney Visa credit card. We have one that we use for all expenses from household bills to groceries and pay it off in full each month (important if you’re trying to save money to NOT be paying interest fees!) We are rewarded with points that are placed onto a Disney Rewards Redemption card that can be used towards tickets, hotel, food and souvenirs in the Parks. On a recent trip we used our rewards points and that paid for all of our meals and a few souvenirs for the kids. There are also additional perks with using the card in the Parks, including meal and shopping discounts and a free photo.

Now that you’re in the Park, the rest of the Day can be FREE!


Minnie’s ready for lunch…bring on the picnic!

Pack in a Picnic

Obviously unless you plan on fasting all day, you’ll need a bit of advanced planning when it comes to eating in the park all day. Here are the things that should be planned ahead of time!

You can bring in your own food to the Parks but there are a few rules.

  • Meals and snacks should be packed in a soft-sided cooler or backpack with a chill pack inside (no hard-sided coolers or wagons allowed).
  • No glass allowed in the Park.
  • Bring bottled water or juice boxes. You can also request ice water for free from any walk-up dining location.
  • Keep in mind that you’ll need a chill pack to keep items cold.
  • Avoid bringing in a bunch of plastic tubs that will add weight. Pack in zip-close disposable bags and bring disposable flatware. Or you can grab flatware from any quick service location.

Good Foods to Pack –

  • Sandwiches (with ingredients that won’t spoil without refrigeration)
  • Green salads in zip-close disposable bags (put the dressing in a snack bag) You’ll need to bring your own fork or grab one from a quick service location.
  • Cold pizza
  • Whole fruit (like apples, oranges or bananas) or cut-up pieces of fruit (like melons & berries) in plastic bags
  • Crunchy granola bars (none with chocolate)
  • Cheese sticks
  • Trail mix (without the chocolate bits)
  • Pre-cut veggies (like carrots, celery or cherry tomatoes)
  • Sturdy chips or crackers (we like Wheat Thins, Triscuits or Goldfish crackers).
  • Juice boxes, sports drinks in plastic bottles, water bottles or refillable water bottles with drop-in flavored powders.

Bad Foods to Pack –

  • Anything with mayonnaise because of the chance it will spoil.
  • Anything that will melt, like chocolate.
  • No glass; you’ll be asked to trash it when passing through security.

For a little money –

You can store your food inside a pay-for-the-day locker if you don’t want to tote it around but we just keep ours in the lower basket of the stroller or in my husband’s backpack.

Disneyland for free?! Don't Spend a Penny Inside the Parks...Here's How!

I have my stroller, hat, glasses and snack…I’m ready to hit the Parks!

Bring It With You

Resist the temptation to buy in the Park…bring these things with you

  • Stroller for your young one. I even recommend strollers for kids up to about 5 years old (all that walking around makes even bigger kids grumpy and tired). Park strollers are notoriously uncomfortable. Consider renting one: I recommend Amusement Park Rentals & have used their services several times at Walt Disney World.
  • Plenty of baby supplies (food, diapers, wipes, disposable bibs). You can purchase these things inside the Baby Care Center but prices are at a premium. You can however use the services at the Baby Care Center for free, including microwaves to warm baby food, highchairs, changing tables and tiny potties. Read about what I pack in my Disney diaper bag.

Park Savers

  • Accessories like hats and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and Chapstick
  • Jacket and/or rain poncho, depending upon the weather
Disneyland for free?! Don't Spend a Penny Inside the Parks...Here's How!

My family, in their pre-bought themed shirts from the Disney Store

Pre-Buy Souvenirs 

You’ll have some mighty cranky kiddos at the end of the day when you pass by the souvenir cart as you exit the Park and they’re empty-handed! We very rarely purchase souvenirs in the Park because we plan ahead and buy something for the kids beforehand. It’s nice to have a little something to hand them as you pass through the exit to soften the end of the day.

  • Plush characters are much cheaper brought from home than at the Parks
  • I love 99 cent store glow-sticks to wear during evening parades and fireworks (makes it a lot easier to keep track of your kids after dark too!)
  • For those trinkets that you present to the kids just before leaving, think tiny, since you’ll be toting these treats around all day: Tsum-tsum, costume jewelry, die-cast car or Vinylmation.
  • Pajamas in a Disney theme! This might seem strange but we have our little kids change into their PJs before leaving the Park at the end of the night, especially if we have a long drive ahead of us.

  • A toddler will be happy with a cheap bottle of bubbles to blow from their stroller as you swiftly exit the Park (I am the Queen of Distraction!) Just bring them a pair of clothes or pajamas to change into afterwards because you know bubbles always spill (but it’s better than a temper tantrum, in my book).

Other FREE Things in the Parks

  • Celebration buttons – Pretty much whatever you’re celebrating (birthday, anniversary, first trip), Disney has a free button for that! Request one at Guest Services when you enter the Park and be showered through out the day with well-wishes.
Get a free Happy Birthday button at Disneyland, read more to find out how! {Saving up for Disney}

Happy Birthday buttons don’t go unnoticed by Cast Members.

  • Hand your camera over to a Disney PhotoPass photographer – Yes, they not only take pictures with their camera (which you can purchase online) but they’ll also take complimentary photos with your own camera as well! (more details about getting the best family photos).
  • Sweet and savory bites – At Disney California Adventure, swing back into the Pacific Wharf area. The Boudin Bakery will give you a free sourdough bread sample and the Ghiradelli shop hands out a square of chocolate to each Guest. At Club Cool in Epcot at Walt Disney World, you can have your tastes of soda flavors from around the world.
Disneyland for free?! Don't Spend a Penny Inside the Parks...Here's How!

Club Cool at Epcot

  • Bring something from home to collect autographs from the Characters. I’ve heard of people using a fabric marker and a pillowcase or t-shirt. I love the idea of a photo frame mat for Characters to sign around and then include a photo of yourself with one of them inside the picture frame, clever!

Free things to do inside the Disney Parks - Collect Character Autographs in a book you bring from home!

  • I met this woman at Walt Disney World who was collecting her autographs in a book that featured all the characters! (I found it online, it’s called Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters). So clever and you’ll have all your autographs in one place.
  • Do you have a Disney Visa credit card? – You can get a private meet n’ greet with a surprise character. Just check the website beforehand to find out the location and more details.
Disneyland for free?! Don't Spend a Penny Inside the Parks...Here's How!

Image Credit: Jeff Holz

The great thing about Disney is that once you have your ticket in hand you are completely free to explore the entire Park without any additional costs if you wish. If you are planning a trip to Disney like this budget guide that includes packing in your own meals and not shopping for souvenirs inside the Park, be sure to let your family know ahead of time what to expect. This will eliminate any unhappy surprises once you’re on your trip. I’ve found that as long as everyone knows what’s happening ahead of time this really helps make the day at the Happiest Place on Earth, well…happy!


RUBBA DUCKS Flock into the Boathouse Restaurant Disney Springs – Giveaway!

I received two complimentary Rubba Ducks® in exchange for this post. All opinions and comments are my own.

RUBBA DUCKS Flock into the Boathouse Restaurant Disney Springs - Giveaway!

Rubba Ducks® are making a splash at Walt Disney World! These adorable rubber duck toys have an exclusive deal with the The Boathouse in Disney Springs that makes Rubba Ducks® the only non-Disney toy in the Boathouse gift shop.

RUBBA DUCKS Flock into the Boathouse Restaurant Disney Springs - Giveaway!

Rubba Ducks® have character! They are brightly colored and feature  decorative costumes and whimsical designs. You’ll probably see a Rubba Duck® and know exactly who would love it! (I’m partial to the Duckerfly!) In addition to a vast variety of characters available, each of the Rubba Ducks® is adorned with a tattoo on its tail feathers reflecting its unique personality, their own hatch date and cute biography found on their trading cards. You can see the designs available on their website.

RUBBA DUCKS Flock into the Boathouse Restaurant Disney Springs - Giveaway!

We received two Rubba Ducks® for review. Digger is a gardening duck. He wears overalls, a gardening hat and has sculptured tools in his pockets. Crystal has a pretty pink-toned and is faceted like a gemstone. My little one had a good time playing with them before, during and after bath time.

RUBBA DUCKS Flock into the Boathouse Restaurant Disney Springs - Giveaway!

Later in the week we took them to grandma’s swimming pool, where they became pool toys. My son would hold them as he dove down to the bottom of the pool and then let the Rubba Ducks® bob back up to the surface. Most rubber ducks roll over upside down the minute you set them in the water. But Rubba Ducks® are designed with weights at the bottom so they will always float upright which makes them so much more fun to play with!

RUBBA DUCKS Flock into the Boathouse Restaurant Disney Springs - Giveaway!

Every own a rubber ducky? Most rubber ducks have a hole in the bottom which can retain mold (yucky ducky!) I banned most bath toys after that nasty discovery. But not Rubba Ducks®! There is no hole in the bottom so NO MOLD! You can safely let the kids play with them in the bath or pool.

Would you like a Rubba Duck® of your own? Enter the giveaway below and Rubba Ducks® will mail you your own sweet ducky!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US residents

I will request winner’s address at contest end. Rubba Ducks® will mail you the prize.

Follow the Rubba Ducks® here:

Facebook: RubbaDucks
Instagram: @rubbaducksworld
Twitter: @rubbaducks
Pintrest: @rubbaducks
YouTube: @rubbaducks


6 DisneyBounding “Rules” – How to Capture Your DisneySide!

Children under 12 can dress in costume at the Disney Parks, but what about the rest of us who’d like to show their Disney-Side but can’t go full out in costume? DisneyBounding! By using clothes from your own closet, you can create the unique look of a certain Disney character that you can wear to the Parks.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing DisneyBounding ideas for you and your family.

6 DisneyBounding "Rules" - How to Capture Your DisneySide!

DisneyBounding “Rules”?

I came up with a few DisneyBounding “rules”, using the Fab 5 as examples, that make dressing as your favorite character fun and easy. My DisneyBound ideas are clothes you can wear at the Parks, so these are comfortable and practical but still fun (not a high heel in sight!)

DisneyBound is about creativity and uniqueness. One look on Pinterest DisneyBound and you can see how many interpretations people are able to come up with based on one character’s “look”.

How will you DisneyBound? Here are some ideas!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. By clicking and purchasing through my links you help me in a small financial way, thank you!


Does your character have a recognizable pattern, like Minnie and her polka dots? Wearing red and white polka dots will almost automatically link you to Minnie, but what other prints can you find that are a similar match to your character?

Minnie Mouse DisneyBound

How about green fish scales for Ariel, purple and pink stripes for the Cheshire Cat or a red and white Hawaiian print for Lilo! If you can’t find a good match, consider fabric paint and a handmade stencil to make the print on the fabric yourself (use non-stretch cotton for best results).

Minnie Mouse – Women’s Polka Dot Top

Cheshire Cat – Pink & Purple Striped Knee High Socks

Ariel – Mermaid Tails Jamberry nail wrap

Minnie Mouse – Red Large Polka Dot’s Minnie Mouse Inspired Hair Bow

101 Dalmations – Dalmation Spot Beach Flip Flops


What are your character’s main colors? No need to be exact on either colors or matching identical pieces, just a general idea of that character’s look, like the Goofy collection shown here.

Goofy DisneyBound

What other characters use color dramatically in their look? How about Elsa in her sparkling ice blue gown and silver snowflakes? Or Ursula in a swirl of black and purple. As long as you keep with these color tones, you can mix up the design of the outfit as you please.

Elsa – Sequin Embellished Sparkle Tank Top and Frozen Snowflake Pandora Charm

Ursula – Womens Swing Tunic Top in Deep Purple and Metal Starfish Hair Clips

Dopey – Knitted Beanie Cap in Dark PurpleDrape Tunic Top in Lime and Minnetonka Women’s Back Zipper Bootie


What is the most eye-catching piece of your character’s look? For Donald, it’s his bright red bow, front and center. With thoughtful accessorizing, you can relax on the other pieces (because you probably don’t want to dress in full sailor suit!)
Donald Duck DisneyBound

If your character doesn’t have a definite spotlight piece, feel free to use that character’s image in one of your accessories (like on a hat , shoes or jewelry). These great new Disney-themed Vans are a perfect accompaniment ( VANS x DISNEY Sneakers)

Think candy hair accessories for Vanellope from Wreck It Ralph, Jessie’s red cowgirl hat from Toy Story or a chunky turquoise necklace like Pocahontas.

Vanellope – Rainbow Candy Fashion Hair Clips

Jessie –  Toy Story Jessie Cowgirl Hat

Poncahontas –  Handmade Chunky Turquoise Necklace


There’s a big difference between DisneyBound and costumes. You wouldn’t put on feathers to DisneyBound as Daisy Duck, but a fluffy white dress gives the impression of feathers.
Daisy Duck DisneyBound

 Also, if you’re choosing less-than-obvious characters, consider that you might not be easily recognized as being DisneyBound. You’ll look cute, but not in costume so if you want to pointedly direct attention to your outfit consider having a toy or an accessory, like an enamel pin of the character on your shirt.


Literal interpretations lends themselves more towards costume than DisneyBound, like the Mickey example here. This is best left for the kids, who look simply adorable (whilst a grown man, not so much!)

Mickey DisneyBound

Feel free to let little ones go all out with Tinker Bell or Buzz Lightyear wings in the park, so long as they’re comfortable.


Tinker Bell –  Baby Girls’ Tinker Bell Deluxe Infant Costume

Buzz Lightyear –  Buzz Lightyear Jet Pack


And for good measure, I threw in Pluto! If your costume is vague or the character you chose doesn’t have much of a standout look (like Pluto here) consider adding in character details, like a hat, jewelry or MagicBand wrap with a custom design to add to your look.

Pluto DisneyBound

You could also go a subtle route and choose one accessory if your character is dressed quite over the top like Sully from Monsters Inc., Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas or Jessie from Toy Story. Keep your costume simple and show off these cool accessories. Naturally I like to take my characters to the tips of my nails with the Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps!


sample-mistress of all evil

From left to right, Mistress of All Evil, Frozen In Time Junior and You Can Fly

For more DisneyBounding ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow | DisneyBounding Ideas Loop:



9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

So, you’re a big time Disneyland fan and now you’re visiting Walt Disney World? How exciting!! You already know about getting to the Park early for rope drop, gathering FastPasses and height requirements for attractions from your dozens of trips to Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth, right? What more could there be to know about visiting Walt Disney World? Turns out, there are hundreds of differences, many of which are extremely important towards having a magical day in Orlando! Assume that the Parks are the same and you’ll be in for a big surprise.

1. My Disney Experience – Your Walt Disney World vacation starts at home, months ahead of time with My Disney Experience. Sign in and create an account, and then add your vacation details here. You can schedule FastPass+. make dining reservations. link your Park tickets and add your Disney resort hotel room information here (even if you didn’t book the room through the Disney site).

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

2. Magical Express Bus – If you’ve ever flown in to California, you know that there isn’t any special transportation available for Disneyland Resort guests. Fortunately The Magical Express Bus in Orlando will bus you (for free!) from Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel if you are a resort guest. They will also deliver your luggage, handling it from baggage claim straight to your room! There are a few WDW-area hotels that do not participate in this program (namely the Swan & Dolphin and Shades of Green) so make sure to check first. And make sure to read all the details about returning to the airport via the Magical Express Bus at the end of your vacation. I got a bit wrapped up in the Disney magic and totally messed this up on my vacation there (read about it on Traveling Mom, Walt Disney World Magical Express Bus – What I Loved (and my $80 Mistake).

3. Disney Resort Hotels – Unlike Disneyland’s three resort hotels, Walt Disney World has 27 Resort Hotels to choose from. In Anaheim, it’s very convenient to book a non-Disney room and walk to the front gates within minutes. Not so at WDW. You’ll either need to use a shuttle service, taxi or rental car if you book off-site because it will take much longer to get to the Park gates and walking is out of the question.

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

The lake in front of the Magic Kingdom with a view of the Grand Floridian…don’t have anything like this in Anaheim!

4. Size to Consider – Everything at Walt Disney World is…BIG! The sheer size of the resort compared to Disneyland can be overwhelming. While the Disneyland Resort is compact and the hotels, Parks and Downtown Disney District are all right there, not so at Walt Disney World. Everything is spread out over vast miles with water parks, golf courses, resorts (and lots of greenscapes and trees) in between the Parks. It’s going to take you longer than you’d expect traveling, both inside and outside the Parks.

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

Everything is BIGGER at Walt Disney World, even the Castle.

5. Park Hopping – While Park Hopping at Disneyland requires a quick walk across the esplanade between the Parks, Park Hopping at the Walt Disney World resort requires longer transportation. You’ll be taking a bus, boat or monorail to get from park to park. Keep in mind that the transportation between Parks will eat into your day and plan accordingly. If you are able to stay long enough to visit each of the Parks on a single day, I’d do so and skip buying a Park Hopper at Walt Disney World.

Decorating MagicBands - Customizing the Magic with Paint

You can bling out your MagicBand however you’d like before your trip!

6. MagicBands – While Disneyland still uses paper tickets, Walt Disney World has moved into the high-tech world of MagicBands. A MagicBand is a rubberized bracelet that you wear. Inside is RF (radio frequency) technology, which holds your park ticket, room key, FastPass+ and dining reservations. After scheduling all these in on My Disney Experience, you’ll be able to choose the color and name that is printed on the inside of the band. The box with your bands will arrive at your house before the trip (don’t forget to take them with you!) You can even decorate them beforehand (see this thread from the Magical Blogorail about decorating your MagicBand). You should probably put them on before boarding the plane because you’ll need your band before you get on the Magical Express Bus. If you book your trip last minute, your bands will be waiting for you at the front desk when you check in and everyone in your party will receive a gray band.

7. FastPass+ – Paper FastPass? Nope! FastPass+ at Walt Disney World is now linked to your Magic Band so you’ll just flash the band and receive access to the special line. If you’re accustomed to booking your Disneyland FastPasses on a whim while once inside the Park, the FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World is a big change. 30 days out you’ll “reserve” your FastPass+ for certain rides (or 60 days out if you book a WDW Vacation Package). Show up without booking your FastPass+ and you’ll be standing in long queues the entire day. You can only reserve three FastPass+ in advance but you can book more as you go through the day at kiosks throughout the Parks.

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

Even Anna & Elsa were there to greet us!

8. Morning Fanfare – If going to The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, make sure to arrive a bit early to catch the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show. No such thing exists at Disneyland, where they simply open the gates and let you in about 30 minutes before the actual Park opens so you can mill around and shop on Main St. U.S.A. Such a wonderful fanfare at the Magic Kingdom and we highly enjoyed the singing, dancing and plethora of characters that arrive via Disneyland Railroad to welcome you through the gates! The show starts about 20 minutes before gate opening but you should allow a little extra time because a crowd does gather.

9 Things Disneyland Fans Need to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

A coveted meal inside Be Our Guest Restaurant

9. Advanced Dining Reservations – Most Disneyland-ers don’t worry about such things, either winging it when it comes to meals or only making a ADR for certain coveted meals (like Goofy’s Kitchen or the Blue Bayou) or for popular times (dinner at 5:00 pm). However dining at Walt Disney World can be much of the adventure and anything above quick service dining will require an Advanced Dining Reservation. Those can be made in My Disney Experience months in advance. If there is a special restaurant you must eat at, keep trying throughout the time leading up to your trip. Many guests cancel (so as not to be charged if they don’t show up), so don’t be deterred if you are still trying in the few days before your vacation. I was able to score lunch at Be Our Guest and dinner at the Prime Time 50’s Cafe the day before we left for our trip!

As you can see, there are LOTS of differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. However there are a considerable amount of similarity too (which I discovered via my trip photographs and documented in my article, Similarities Between Disneyland & Walt Disney World). If you’re a Walt Disney World-er going to experience Disneyland for the first time, be sure to read this article on Traveling Mom, 14 Disneyland Tips Every Walt Disney Regular Needs to Know.

Are you a Disneyland fan who also visits Walt Disney World? What other things should Disneyland-ers know before making the trip to Orlando? Share below in the comments!






Walt Disney World Restaurant Review – 50’s Prime Time Cafe

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

A trip to Walt Disney World is a experience from the moment you step inside the Park. And in some cases that fun and adventure extends into your dining experience as well! On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, my mom, brother and three-year old son had the opportunity to dine at 50’s Prime Time Cafe. The restaurant is located inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so a valid park ticket is required to dine here.

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

Walt Disney World- Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Though Advanced Dining Reservations are available up to 180 days in advance, I was able to score dinner for a Saturday night just 5 days ahead. Guest often cancel, leaving openings available. So if you also have a last-minute trip planned, I recommend checking the Disney website several times a day to find openings just before your trip. Don’t plan to show up the day-of without reservations and expect to dine though; spots for popular restaurants are quite often full. On the day of our visit, I saw several guests turned away at the counter when they came in to request a table without an advanced dining reservation.

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

50’s decor at every turn

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

My mom & brother…check out the nifty wallpaper and Jell-o molds on the wall behind them!

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

A cabinet full of 50’s kitch


The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is set up like grandma’s kitchen, complete with vintage knick-knacks and kitchy decor. Black and white televisions play snippets from classic favorites. Dad’s Lounge at the front of the restaurant serves up retro style alcoholic beverages like the Pina CoLAVA or Dad’s Electric Lemonade.

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

Opening day at Disneyland being aired on one of the televisions

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

Our waitress referred to herself as “Cousin Lorraine” and set the ground rules for the evening, “No elbows on the table. No tattle-taling. And you have to finish your vegetables or no dessert!”

My son and I ordered a strawberry milk shake to share. It was plenty for the two of us and quite a yummy treat. While we waited for our food we watched some of the classic television shows being broadcast around us. Most of them I’d at least heard of but a few were unfamiliar. My mom, however was taking a trip down memory lane, recalling what had been old favorites.

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

Dennis the Menace

The waitress serving the tables in the room behind us kept sternly reprimanding her guests for putting their elbows on the table. She would glare at them each time she left the area. In this photo of me, I’m nonchalantly resting my elbows on the table just a split second before that waitress walks by. What the shot didn’t capture was the moment I caught her walking past me and I swiftly shot my hands into my lap! The waitress serving the tables next to us was a grandmotherly-type and sat down at the table with her guests to take their orders and offer her advice about the food. It was a lighthearted and playful atmosphere.

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

Elbows on the table!!

The menu at 50’s Prime Time Cafe is chock full of classic and traditional homestyle dishes. My mom and I shared Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie. It came without the usual pie tin but served instead in a large shallow bowl. There was still a bottom crust and a flaky pie top. It was absolutely stuffed with large pieces of white meat chicken breast, chunky carrots, button mushrooms and peas all mixed in a creamy cheesy sauce.

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

A half serving of Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie (my mom and I shared)

My brother ordered Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf. This was a tasty looking blend of beef and pork. I say “tasty looking” because my brother didn’t even offer a bite! I guess that tells you how good it was. It was topped with a thick tomato glaze and served alongside roasted garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. Veggies are not my brother’s thing and he had a few left at the end of the meal. He tried to cover up the leftover veggies but well, being the dutiful big sister that I am, I ratted him out to the waitress! She reprimanded ME for tattle-taling and gave my brother a sticker for the “Clean Plate Club”, saying he did “well enough” on his dinner. Hmph!

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

About half of my brother’s meatloaf platter, he’d already started digging in!

It was all in good fun, of course. The food was quite tasty (though slightly overpriced, in my opinion). Portions were good sized but I probably could have eaten the dish by myself. The theme and decor is fantastic and really transports you to another time and place. It’s a good meal location for young kids as well, since it’s bright and noisy and there are televisions to watch (they also gave my son a coloring pages and crayons). 50’s Prime Time Cafe is a blast (from the past!)

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