Posts tagged #traveling with kids

Kids on a Plane - Tips to help you not lose your Sh*t!

Kids on a plane. Seems like it could be a title for a thriller movie kind of like Snakes on a Plane. Not sure which one is worse.

Traveling with kids, especially on a plane, can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be. Like with everything else you do with kids, proper preparation can cut down on the craziness.

Floating the Platte River in Northern Michigan

One of the more popular attractions and the biggest hit with our family was floating down the Platte River. Since we stayed at the Platte River Campgrounds, we were right down the road but it took us a couple days to figure out the right spot, for our family with younger children, to put in. 

Devil's Lake Wisconsin Camping Trip!

Last fall, our family took a major step and decided to invest in a travel trailer. I stalked the internet for months trying to find the best deal on a used "starter" camper for our family. Our knowledge of campers, or towing anything in general, was sparse but I'm a firm believer that if you want to do something you just have to pull the trigger and learn through doing.

Our Top 5 attractions for the under 5 at Walt Disney World

Recently, I've been getting asked for suggestions on the can't miss attractions at Walt Disney World. There are so many things you can do at each of the 4 parks that it can seem overwhelming. This got me thinking and so I asked my daughter, who has been to Disney World several times only at the age of 5. Here is my daughter's top five list!

It's a Small World

-Fantasyland

She has loved this ride since before she was 1 and it's a classic. There is something magical and happy about this ride that opens up their little eyes. It's located in the Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland.

Disney's Electrical Parade

-Fantasyland

This is a can't miss! Seriously, your kids will love this just as mine did. We always plan this one ahead as it's only offered on certain days and at certain times. The sparkly lights at night with the famous Disney characters drive the kids insane! In a good way, that is.

Dumbo 

- Fantasyland

It's a classic and it's fun! They recently revamped this attraction. This is more of an adventurous ride as the height can be intimidating to little little kids. Bella is not a fan of "thrill rides" but still enjoys this one very much.

Kilimanjaro Safari ride 

- Animal Kingdom

This one is such an adventure for young kids. It's so much more than a Zoo and you feel like you are really on a safari in this open atmosphere. We have always had the most luck of seeing the amazing animals if you go right when the park opens. This ride is located at the Animal Kingdom Park.

The Little Mermaid and Nemo Ride

-Fantasyland and Epcot

These are a combo as they are kind of the same but with different movie themes and both are great for young kids. The Little Mermaid ride is at the Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland and the Nemo ride is at Epcot.

Dressing up at the parks

- Anywhere!

Okay, this is actually number 6 and it's not really an attraction but my kids love doing this so I just had to mention. The kids love wearing their costumes at the parks. You can find some pretty affordable princess outfits that wont break the bank ahead of time at Target or Walmart. You can even get a coordinating outfit that resembles a character and the kids will be excited. I would recommend bringing some loose clothes for them to change into just in case they get hot in the dresses.

Have you heard of

Disney Bound

? People, by people I mean adults too, actually dress up like characters in their own interpretations with regular clothes while matching the color palettes of the characters. For a more detailed explanation I found an article

here

 that describes it best. It's pretty cool and I'm sure we will try this on our next visit. You can find some ideas on pinterest by searching 

here

!

Honorable mention: Winnie the Pooh ride at Fantasyland

The ride itself can be a tad outdated but the kids still love the black florescent scenes. The main attraction with this ride is actually waiting in line. They have fun games and activities throughout the line to keep the kids occupied and entertained.

Have you traveled to Disney World with your little one's? What are their favorite attractions? Leave your comments below!

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Character Breakfast at the Hollywood and Vine

It seems like every time we visit Disney World we have to do a character breakfast of some sort. This past trip we did 2! We usually do the Cape May character breakfast and buffet at the Beach Club Resort. This year we decided to add a second character breakfast and try out the

Hollywood and Vine Restaurant.

Hollywood and Vine Character 

Breakfast Buffet

It's located in the Hollywood Studios theme park right across from Echo Lake.

The character buffet is also offered for lunch as well, although, breakfast is cheaper at 30 per adult.

We were so excited to dine with the Characters from Disney Jr at the Hollywood Vine Restaurant located in the Hollywood Studios theme park!

I have to say, if you have kids that watch Disney Jr. they will love this character breakfast more than the others!

We decided to do an early breakfast so we could play in the park the rest of the day.

The characters included:

Sofia the First

Doc McStuffins

Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Handy Manny

The Buffet:

It was very good and offered plenty of options for all tastes such as waffles, eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt bar, frittatas.... I could go on but you get the idea. There is also a ice cream sundae bar that the kids will love!

The Scene:

Its set up like a 50's diner with the plastic and sparkly couches. The dining experience also provides some musical entertainment and dancing on the part of the characters in costume. Kids can get up and dance along with their favorite characters.

Overall, I would say we enjoyed this character breakfast the most! The characters are much more familiar to the kids and the food was great!!

Have you tried the Hollywood and Vine before? Have you tried a different character breakfast at Disney World? I'm curious as to what everyone else has tried!

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Your coffee can change her life!

Disney Field Trip: The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot

One of the many things I love about Disney is there ability to incorporate education into their attractions! Disney World has to be one of the greatest field trips ever!

I know Epcot is not on the top of the list of parks to see, but it does offer a great classroom for conservation of the Earth ! On our recent trip we were excited to try the new attraction The Seas with Nemo and Friends!! The ride itself was a cute clam shell adventure through the Finding Nemo story. 

Once you got off the moving walkway, you were led to an amazing exhibit of underwater life. You can walk through this two story pavilion at your own leisure. 

My favorite part was pointing out Nemo and Dore! It really brings the movie alive and into the real world. What kid doesn't like the aquarium?

As I sit her and edit this, Bella informs me that this is NOT Nemo. It's the daddy Marlin because he is bigger and Nemo is smaller!

The Bruce's Sub House is a fun adventure where you can learn about the sharks of the ocean and the dangers they encounter everyday.  A hands on experience for all kids to have a chance to feel what real shark skin feels like and take a photo op inside Bruce's Jaw! Bella was a little frightened by the jaws of life.... so my Dad played along!

I think Bella's favorite part was the friendly dolphins that played back and forth beyond the glass!! They were pretty shy to take a picture though!

We saw real manatee!!!

The aquarium was gorgeous and provided us with just enough cool indoor entertainment! When the kids get older we will spend more time here!

Tips on planning a Disney Vacation

With much excitement about our trip to Walt Disney World in January, I thought I would put together something to help anyone planning a trip to WDW!!! Our family are expert Walt Disney World Resort vacationers (and I a former college program cast member) and over the years I have found some things helpful with my travels.

  • It's all about the time of year!!!!!! Planning your trip in a low season is key, especially if this is a once in a life time for your family. I get that summer vacation is when your kids are out of school and you don't want to have to pull them out for a vacation but..... do you really want to spend all that money (because it is expensive) to wait in a hot and muggy line for over an hour, just for a two minute ride? You might get to go on maybe 3 rides before your family has a meltdown... especially with young children!!!! With that said, from my experience as a former cast member and a annual (well almost) guest, September through October is beautiful weather and the lines are minimal. January through the beginning of February is less crowded as well and you are looking at cooler weather.
  • Think about investing in the Vacation Club! If you love to travel and want to vacation every year, not necessarily Disney either, this is a great investment. If you don't already know about this research it! Now! What are you waiting for?
  • Stay on property! While some off property hotels can offer some amazing deals, you still have to rent a car, which can add up and not save you any money. Plus, if you stay at one of the many Disney fabulous resorts, they offer transportation to all of the parks and other exciting attractions with in the Walt Disney Resort. What is great is they have so many resorts that accommodate all types of budget!
  • Skip the meal plans. If you stay in one of the WDW resorts that offers a kitchen (which I would highly recommend upgrading to) you can have a food service delivered right to your hotel!!! Saves on the costly meals in the dinning room and you will have access to your own stash 24/7. Will share more about the food delivery service on tips for your trip!
  • Disney's Magical Express!! A wonderful shuttle to and from the airport!! With Baggage delivery... you don't even need to worry about picking up your checked in luggage... it's delivered right to your room!
  • Be realistic about your budget. You say to your self  "we are only going to spend this much"... but then you get there and the kids go wild in the Disney stores and your daughter wants to be a princess at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. In then end you will always spend more and the last thing you want is to either go home broke or go home feeling like you might have missed out! Research the different attractions with in the parks and downtown Disney. Know your battle grounds before you depart your house.

Oh my gosh... I am too excited just thinking about it!!! Check back on tips for traveling with small children and what not to miss at WDW!

Explore Orlando Theme Parks for One Low Price!

Posted on September 7, 2012 and filed under Disney, Travel.