Posts

7 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Disney Vacation

Going to Disney can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned travelers. So much to remember and so much more to learn! But I find that I can have just as much fun in the planning stages as in the actual vacation itself. Last year my family and I (all seasoned Disneyland travelers) took our first last-minute trip to Walt Disney World and made *ahem*,  many mistakes! It happens to the best of us. If this is your first time planning a Disney vacation you have your hopes up that everything will go well…And it will! In order to make your vacation go as smoothly as possible, check out these 7 common mistakes planning a Disney vacation.

7 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Disney Vacation

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz

Mistakes Planning a Disney Vacation

Newbies and seasoned Disney travelers have something in common – at one time or another, they’ve probably made a mistake or two on their Disneyland or Walt Disney World vacation. Hopefully once you recognize the Disney travel pitfalls, you can make a detour towards a successful and magical trip! Be sure to check out all the other links I have in this post for more Disney planning advice when preparing for Disney World or Disneyland.

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


Mistake #1: “Surprise! We’re Going to Disney…Right NOW!!”

It sounds like a great idea, right? You’ll take them to the airport or pop them in the car for the road trip and surprise them with a trip to Disney! They’ll be so happy, right?? Depending upon your kids, this surprise of a lifetime could go either way. And you’ll really have to know your kids to know how a big surprise like that would go down.

For my two older children, a surprise vacation would not be welcome and might indeed spark a meltdown. They both like to know early-on what’s going to happen and be totally prepared so a surprise Disney trip would not be the best idea. However, my 4-year old would be thrilled! He tends to roll-with-the-punches a little better and doesn’t mind a few changes in his routine. Only you know how your kids might react.

7 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Disney Vacation

What kind of reaction are you expecting?

Instead of surprising the kids just as you’re leaving, consider a surprise early on in the planning stages of the vacation. This still gives you the excitement of “Wow, we’re going to Disney?!”. but allows them time to let the idea of a big vacation sink in. They’ll also be able to properly prepare and help you plan the trip as well and give input on what rides and attractions they’d like to see.

I like the idea of a surprise that includes a Disney Vacation Planning DVD (you can order one free through this link) so they can watch and take notes on what to expect during their trip. Throw in a planning guide book so that you and the kids can start planning your trip before you leave including what shows, rides and attractions you want to experience.


Mistake #2: “Why Is It So Crowded?”

If you plan on visiting Disney on a weekend, summertime, holiday season or pretty-much anytime that kids are out of school, you’ll need to be prepared that the Parks will be crowded. Be sure to take a look at the calendar before booking your trip to make sure an avoid three-day weekends and holidays if you want to visit when the Park crowds are lighter.

For Disneyland planning advice, see these posts:

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz


Mistake #3: “Where Am I? I Am Totally Lost”

Finding yourself directionally challenged once you pass Main St. U.S.A? Take some time in your pre-vacation planning to study the maps of each Park.  You can find the maps on the Disney Parks websites.

Each of the Disney Parks are large and have lots of nooks and crannies to explore. If you have a general idea of the layout of the “Lands” then at least you won’t be looking for the Haunted Mansion in Tomorrowland.

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.


 Save Money on Your Disney Vacation!

Purchase discount Disneyland and Walt Disney World tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529


Mistake #4: “I Thought I’d Be Able to See ALL the Characters”

At any given moment, you might find a dozen characters meeting and greeting guests throughout the Park. Will you find your favorite? Maybe!

Not all characters meet guests year-round. Some you’ll be sure to see, like Mickey and the “fab five” throughout the day at the Parks and others only come out for special occasions. You’ll get an idea of which characters will be out that day from the Entertainment Times Guide you receive at the front gate. There are also special appearances that aren’t in the schedule and of course you can see characters in the shows and parades as well.

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Be sure to see my post on Traveling Mom, Ways to Meet Mickey and Other Characters for more details on how to see your favorites along with tips for having the best character meet n’ greet experience!

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Photo Credit: Jeff Holz


Mistake #5: “What Are We Going to Eat? I’m STARVING!!”

Waiting until your vacation day to decide on your Disney meals is a mistake. Even if you only plan on grab & go counter service meals, you should still plan ahead of time what food you’ll be eating. This not only saves you time deciding on the spot, time spent zig-zagging across the Park to get to the restaurant and time perusing the menu deciding on your meal.

With such a large family, I always print off a few of the restaurant menus online so we can choose what we’ll be ordering before our trip. We can decide early about sharing platters of food, budgeting for meals and it saves us time in line trying to decide. One of us orders and the other gets the table and it’s a much more expedited process!

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Gaston’s Tavern is open, just stop in!

In the case of full-service dining, much of the dining at Disney is considered an “experience”. And at Walt Disney World especially, you’ll need Advance Dining Reservations (ADR) to get into these restaurants.

When we were checking in for our reservation at 50’s Prime Time Cafe, there were a half-dozen people trying to get in to the booked restaurant without any luck. You’ll definitely need ADR if you plan on full-service. You can play it by ear at Disneyland for the most past, save for Character meals and peak season.

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Dining at Be Our Guest requires Advance Dining Reservations

Check out these posts about dining at Disney parks:


Mistake #6: “I Should Have Brought the…”

Regretting that you forgot to bring something with you into the Parks? Having a packing list ready before your trip will help you to remember everything you’ll need to pack up in your day bag. I find that jotting down essentials as I recall them in the weeks leading up to the trip will help me better than if I go off the top of my head when I’m loading up the suitcase.

Certainly there are a lot of things you can buy inside the Disney Parks gift shops from antacids to flip-flops but the prices will be higher as well. At least at Disneyland, there are convenience stores within walking distance of the front gates.

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Thought you wouldn’t need a stroller and now you regret not bringing it? Fortunately you can rent one in the Parks.

See these additional posts about what to pack for Disney:


Mistake #7: “Why Are the Kids So Cranky?! This is Supposed to be the Happiest Place on Earth!”

Disney Parks are chock full of entertainment from rope drop to midnight, and beyond. For most kids, the constant activity combined with a disruption in their usual routine (and nap schedule) can cause tantrums like you’ve never seen before! For other kids, anxiety about all the new noises, sights and smells might put them into stress-mode.

Be sure to work in some downtime into your Disney vacation schedule. A mid-trip “off day” will give everyone a chance to sleep in, relax and unwind a bit before getting back into the theme-park frenzy again.

Check out these 7 rookie mistakes to avoid when you plan your Disney vacation.

Someone was ready for a break

Here are a few handy posts about avoiding the “Disney meltdown!”:


Planning a Disney vacation and you need more help?

Be sure to check out this post about the 5 Things You Need to Do Before Your First Disney Trip for more travel planning tips!


https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529

Save Money at Disney!

Purchase discount Disneyland and Disney World tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


For more ways to avoid mistakes at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disney Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Loop:

These are the top 7 tips for Disney vacation rookies & what first-timer mistakes to avoid when planning a Disney vacation.


 

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

Wondering what to wear to Disneyland? Or how to dress for Disney World? Maybe you’ve already planned your own DisneyBound outfits for your upcoming magical vacation. Now it’s time to pack up adorable outfits for Disney 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 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 Disney outfit ideas are all clothes that I’ve dressed my little ones in during our Disney vacations. I’ll share Disney World outfits for toddlers and Disneyland clothes for preschools. I even have Disney clothing ideas for big kids as well. And because it’s Disney, these ideas easily translate into cute Disney outfit ideas for adults too!

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?

When you’re ready to pack up, be sure to check out this free printable packing list for kids traveling to Disney!

1. Disney T-Shirts

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. ShopDisney often has specials on their graphic tee designs (click on images to shop).

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!


2. DIY Disney Tees You Can Make 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. Here are a few ideas you can do to make your own Disney t-shirt designs. Depending upon your skill level, I’ve included things for very basic to more advanced.

Rubber Stamp and Fabric Paint

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

Hand Painted

Try this technique for hand painting a Disney design onto a tee for a unique look you won’t see on anyone else! For more details on how to do this yourself, check out my Dory Handpainted Tee Tutorial.

Paint Your Own Finding Dory T-Shirt

Quick Sew

Try one of these simple sewn tees that are fun for beginners. They give you the look of applique but is basic so anyone with sewing machine skills can do these! Try the Mickey pumpkin tee tutorial or I Love Mickey applique tutorial.

diypumpkintee1  HeartTee-14

Or simply take a single square of a favorite fabric and sew it on (using the techniques in one of the above tutorials).

Appliqued T-Shirt

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 silk-screened Disney-themed tees will find you something fun for the kids.

IMG_2098 jack

164

3. A Disney Look, Head to Toe

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 help support small business as well. You’ll often be able to find Disney boutique clothing resale.

132

Sew It Up Yourself

I love to go to Disney parks with my kids wearing unique and creative outfits! That’s why I often design and sew them up myself. 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!

One of my favorite places to buy licensed Disney fabrics is on Etsy. They often have awesome import fabrics you won’t be able to find in the stores. Click the images to order fabrics.

Not Your Typical Princess Dresses

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. One dress is Snow White inspired and the other features Rapunzel! Ask your little lady which is her favorite princess and create something so her to wear that’s inspired and totally unique.

149 073a

Click images to order fabric

T-Shirt Dress

You can also take a t-shirt that’s a bit too small and re-purpose it with knit fabrics into a totally unique dress like this one! See how we coordinated the dress with some Minnie-inspired knit accessories?

069

Click on images to order fabric

Simple Cotton Tie-Shoulder Dresses

I found this simple vintage pattern for a dress that ties at the shoulders and it was perfectly lightweight for a spring trip to Disney World. This Mickey Mouse print dress reverses to white and red polka dots! I paired it with knit shorts and an over-sized bow. My daughter is tasting her first Dole Whip at the Polynesian Resort. I was so glad I had her dressed so adorably for the occasion!

Here’s another tie-shoulder dress style that I made for my daughter. I pieced this together myself based on a dress that my daughter already owned but it went together in a snap (I even used inexpensive bias tape for the ties). This Marvel fabric is so unexpected on a baby, and totally unique!

Click images to order fabrics

Quick Sew Shorts

Not to leave the boys out, I have made my gentlemen dozens of shorts to wear at Disney during our vacations over the years! I always use the same simple 2-piece pattern for elastic waist shorts. Sometimes I vary the length or add pockets on the legs. So comfy and easy to pair with a plain tee.

                 

Click images to order fabrics

4. Perfect Shoes for Disney

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. I can only imagine the melt-down that would ensue when said shoes cause sore feet and blisters (because they totally will).

I adore pediped for my kids in their everyday wear and there are some adorable designs that are appropriate for wearing at the Parks. Some styles are waterproof for splash pad play or even have sparkles (to match princess dresses!) So much better than plastic dress-up shoes!

For more shoe ideas, see my post about the Best Shoes to Wear at Disney.



Save Money at DISNEY!

Purchase discount Disneyland tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529


5. Disney Perfect Costumes

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.

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).

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.


6. Disney-Inspired Accessories

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.


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).

151

Socks and shoes are a fun (and practical!) way to show your Disney love!


What should kids wear at Disney parks? These Disney vacation outfits for kids will have them cute, cool and comfortable in the parks! Tons of ideas on dressing up for Disney, with tips from head to toe for Disneyland and Disney World vacations.

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!

WINNER CHOSEN!! – Rebekah B

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links

signnature8

 

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

WEAR THEM AT THE PARKS…OR AT HOME!

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

DISNEY COLLECTION BY JAMBERRY WRAPS ARE AVAILABLE TODAY!

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

JAMBERRY GIVEAWAY!

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

“SAVE UP FOR DISNEY” AS A JAMBERRY INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT
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 savingupfordisney@yahoo.com for more info. You can also join up via this link.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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
signnature8

 

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!


dlhotel1

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 Store.com – 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!

this post contains affiliate links

signnature8

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

Park Savers affiliate link

Disney Trip FREE Printable – Packing List for Kids

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.

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 Disneyland 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 older 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.


Save money on a DISNEY VACATION!

Purchase discount Disney tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 


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 usually 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. Am I right about that? Ewwww….

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 left sandal?!” in the morning.

Have kids store their personal toiletries in individual travel toiletry bags. This keeps the bathroom counter neat and tidy and nobody is looking for their toothbrush when you all 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 Trip FREE Printable - Packing List for Kids that they can use to pack for themselves!

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

Everyone’s heard how Disney vacations are 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!

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!

1. Getting into the Park – Money Saving Tips & Discounted Tickets

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 Get Away Today because you can save several dollars on the cost of each ticket as well as knowing you are buying from a reliable seller. You can also use their layaway program, letting you save for a vacation.

Purchase discount Disneyland tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).


  • 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.
  • Did you know that you can use your Target Red Card to save an additional 5% off the price of your Disney gift cards?!

  • 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!

Mickey's Toontown for Preschoolers - A Guide on What to Do, See & Eat!

2. 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.

Don’t miss these two posts about saving money on food at Disney and MORE ways to save money on food!

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!


3. 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.
  • 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


4. 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.

  • A  t-shirt or hat from the Disney Store to wear for the day.
  • A battery-powered personal misting fan if you’re coming during hot weather
  • 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).

Here are a few other DISNEY SOUVENIRS TO BUY BEFORE YOUR TRIP.


5. 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! 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.

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

  • 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!

Tons of tips on discounted tickets, what to bring & free things in Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks.


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:

Web: http://www.rubbaducks.net/
Facebook: RubbaDucks
Instagram: @rubbaducksworld
Twitter: @rubbaducks
Pintrest: @rubbaducks
YouTube: @rubbaducks


signnature8

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. So what are the DisneyBounding rules to follow to get your look fabulous? Here are some DisneyBound ideas everyone in the family can use!

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

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


What is DisneyBound & What Are the DisneyBounding “Rules”?

DisneyBound uses everyday clothing in a way that represents a chosen Disney character. DisneyBounding isn’t costume or cosplay. 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”.

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!)

How will you DisneyBound? Here are some ideas!

DISNEYBOUND RULE #1 – PATTERNS ARE A PLUS

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?

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.

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 – Women/Girls Pleated Mini Skirt Mermaid

Tigger – Women’s Leggings Black and Orange

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

101 Dalmations – Dalmation Spot Beach Flip Flops


DISNEYBOUND RULE #2 – COLOR GIVES YOU CHARACTER

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.

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.

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


DISNEYBOUND RULE #3 – IT’S ALL IN THE ACCESSORIES

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!)
Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.

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 –  Blue Turquoise Stone Necklace


DISNEYBOUND RULE #4 –  CUTE, BUT NOT COSTUME-Y

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.
Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.

 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.


DISNEYBOUND RULE #5 –  LEAVE LITERAL INTERPRETATION TO THE LITTLES

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!)

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.

Kids up to age 12 can dress in costume. Feel free to let little ones go all out with complete costumes in the park, so long as they’re comfortable. And be sure they are wearing real, comfortable shoes and not dress up costume shoes.

Tinker Bell – Baby Girls’ Tinker Bell Deluxe Infant Costume

Buzz Lightyear – Buzz Lightyear Jet Pack

Elena of Avalor – Elena Of Avalor Adventure Dress

See this post for more ideas on the best outfits for dressing kids for Disney vacations!


DISNEYBOUND RULE #6 – CHARACTER DETAILS MAKE YOU MORE RECOGNIZABLE

As a bonus, 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.

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.

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.

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:

Find out what DisneyBound is and what the rules are to dressing up for Disney inside the theme parks! Lots of fun DisneyBounding ideas.


 

Tips for Disneyland Fans Visiting Walt Disney World

You’re a big time Disneyland fan and now you want to visit Walt Disney World? How exciting!! If you’ve already been to Disneyland you might wonder 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 (they’re not!)

What to Know If You’re a Disneyland Fan Visiting Walt Disney World

This is not a Disneyland VS. Disney World sort of post. I’m definitely not comparing the Parks on either coast in that way, because I have love for Disney all around! I love Disneyland for different reasons than why I love Walt Disney World. And they are both completely different from each other. Sharing my tips for having the best experiences and knowing the differences can make your vacation run that much smoother. These are the nine things to be aware of when planning your Disney World vacation!

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

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

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 reservation, 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).

This is all really important stuff so be sure to take your time during the vacation planning process to make all these schedules and reservations. You’ll thank yourself later for taking the time to pre-plan and book ahead! Disney World is not a “wing it” kind of place like Disneyland. Most of the time, you can just show up on any given day at Disneyland and plan as you go. But if you want to make the most of your time at Disney World you really should do these things pre-trip.


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.

The important thing is to set this all up before your trip. You can’t just expect to show up for your flight and expect a free ride waiting at the other end. Do all the legwork of entering your flight numbers to book your Magical Express Bus reservation. Then assure that the accurate luggage tags that indicate your hotel are secured.

At the end of your trip, be sure to read all the details about returning to the airport via the Magical Express Bus. 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).

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

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. There are a few WDW resort hotels within walking distance but non-Disney hotels are located much further out. Walking from a non-Disney World resort hotel to any of the Park front gates is out of the question. You’ll either need to use a shuttle service, taxi or rental car if you book off-site.

Also at Disneyland, you’re used to paying very high prices for each of the three on-site hotels. At Disney World, resorts are classified into three categories, Deluxe, Moderate and Value (like the All-Star Music Resort shown in this image). Staying on-site can be very reasonably priced and you’ll still receive all of the Disney perks, including luggage delivery and Magical Express Bus!

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

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 at Disney World Isn’t a Quick Process

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. I’d recommend you skip buying a Park Hopper at Walt Disney World. This will allow you to visit one park on a single day and save time on what could be an hour+ long process of “Hopping” to another Park.


6. MagicBands Are a Game Changer

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 once you reach Orlando.

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

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 or on the My Disney Experience device app.


8. Advanced Dining Reservations

Most Disneyland-ers don’t worry about such things as making reservations! They either wing it when it comes to meals or only make an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for certain coveted meals (like Goofy’s Kitchen or the Blue Bayou). However dining at Walt Disney World can be much of the adventure and anything above quick service dining will require an Advanced Dining Reservation. You will most likely NOT be able to walk-up and get seated at any full-service restaurant without a reservation.

ADR can be made in My Disney Experience months in advance. Yes, months! And you should absolutely plan out which restaurants you want and book them the first day you can. You’ll find that your choices are often already filled up. If there is a special restaurant you must eat at, keep trying throughout the time leading up to your trip. Many guests cancel at the last moment (so as not to be charged if they don’t show up). 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!

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

9. Similar But Not the Same

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).

Quite a few people I’ve talked to think that Disneyland and Magic Kingdom are interchangeable. However while they do have some similar rides and attractions, there is quite a bit that is unique to each location. Don’t assume that Magic Kingdom is “just like Disneyland” – it’s not! Can’t miss things at Magic Kingdom are Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle and The Hall of Presidents.

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular.

There are similar attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to what you’d find at Disney California Adventure park as well. Save time for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Walt Disney Presents and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Many have compared Disney’s Animal Kingdom to the San Diego Zoo. Yeah, they both have animals in lush, natural settings, but that’s about where the similarities end! Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some great live shows like Finding Nemo and Lion King. Make sure to visit the new Pandora area, Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR.

And of course, Epcot is a completely unique park unto itself! I actually like to take two days enjoying it so I can focus on each section separately (Future World on one day, World Showcase on another day).


You’re a Disney World-er experiencing Disneyland for the first time?

Be sure to read this article on TravelingMom, 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!

If you're a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World for the first time these are the most important things to know before your trip! Everyone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time should read this advice, especially if you're already a Disneyland regular. #DisneyWorld #VacationPlanning