Category Archives: Vacation Planning

flying to disney with kids

Traveling with Kids- Everything you need to know!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Your magical vacation is booked. The kids are excited to go. You have everything packed and are on your way. In all the hustle and bustle of planning, packing and getting ready for your vacation chances are you forgot to prepare for one important aspect of the trip. Traveling with kids in an airplane and airport can be challenging. Especially with toddlers and babies.

If you aren’t prepared for the airport or airplane ride, this can cause your trip to start off on the wrong foot. Don’t worry, with a little preparation you can make sure your family is ready to tackle the airport.

As a person who travels constantly for work, which includes making trips in and out of Orlando multiple times a weeks. I see families struggling to make it through security and get to the airplane on time. Then once on the airplane the parents struggle to keep the kids entertained or quiet.

airport terminal

Over my years of traveling around watching families struggled I have been able to develop a full proof list of tips for traveling with kids. These tips will help you navigate the airport and airplane with ease. Thus beginning your magical vacation stress free.

Tips for traveling with kids

Arriving at the Airport

The first step towards a stress free trip is to strategically book your flights. Not only consider the time it will take you to get to the airport, check your bags, go to security and get the kids ready for the flight. You also need to consider the needs of your kids. Are they morning people or are they grumpy when you wake them up early? Do they need to be laying down for a nap? Can they go without a nap? There are a lot of variables that you can and need to consider when choosing flights. It may be worth it to spend the extra 50 bucks on a later flight if it means your kids will be awake and not grumpy.

It is common to hear parents say, we will fly early in the morning so the kids will go back to sleep. Or, we will make sure the flight is during their nap time. As a parent and seasoned traveler I do not necessarily agree with those statements. Are your kids really likely to go back to sleep after being up for 2-3 hours before the flight. Can your kid nap while sitting up in the airplane seat. What will you do if the flight becomes delayed?

Get to the airport early. Ok! Most parents will laugh at this one. I know its hard enough to get them ready in the morning and get out of the house on time everyday. However with so much happening when you get to the airport, you will be thankful for this extra time. I would rather be sitting at the gate an hour early, then walking up to the gate as the airplane is pushing back.

Why arrive early? There will be extra luggage to check. You will be moving at your kids pace, which will be slower than yours. You may get additional screening going through security because of the formula you packed. This list can go on and on.

Baggage. Depending on the length of your vacation and age of kids yo may have a lot of baggage to take with you. The best thing you can do to help manage time at the airport will be to check as much luggage as possible. Only carry on what you need for sitting around the airport and airplane. This will help make everything go smoother.

Get your kids to carry or pull their own bags. Get backpacks or small roller bags your kids can pull through the airport. If you don’t they are going to want to pull yours through the airport which can be disastrous. This will help keep the contained as well. When packing the bag for your kids, make sure you have everything they will want or need during the flight in one bag that can fit under their seat.

Yes, I know most airlines charge for baggage. To help reduce this cost, use large suitcases and pack multiple family members in the same bag. Just make sure the bag weights less than 50lbs. Otherwise there will be an overweight bag fee.

While you are getting your bags checked, go ahead and get the boarding passes printed for everyone in your party. I know, you probably already have them saved on your phone. But I see it all to often that the parents are scrambling through their phones trying to find and make sure they scan the right boarding passes.

traveling with kids in the airport

Navigate Security

Yes, I know we all hate having to deal with airport security. Traveling with kids won’t make it any easier. There are several things you can do to make getting through security easier with kids. Before you head to the airport make sure you take some time to look over the Do’s and Don’ts of going through security. Know what you can and cannot take with you.

  • If you plan on traveling a lot within the next 5 years. Go ahead and sign up for TSA pre-check. It will be will worth the $85 investment. Your kids under 12 can travel through TSA pre-check for free with you.
  • Airport food can get expensive. Good news, you are allowed to bring food items through security. Just remember no liquids, keep the snack items to crackers, goldfish, fruits.
  • For parents that still have babies drinking breast milk of formula, TSA will allow those liquids through security. These liquids do not have to comply with the 3.5 ounce rule either. Just make sure you inform an officer at the beginning of the screening process. Additionally, be prepared to have an officer do a secondary search of your bag.
  • All items will have to go through the x-ray machine. Since most strollers will not fit through the scanner, an officer will conduct a visual inspection of the stroller.

Post Security

Ok, you made it through security with no issues and now have time to kill before you board your flight. This is the time you want to let your kids burn some energy. If you can go find an empty corner. Easier said than done at most airports. Or find the least crowded area in the airport. Allow them to walk or crawl around and burn that energy. Hopefully by the time you get on the airplane they will be content with just sitting there and not want to run up and down the aisles.

  • Strollers are everywhere in airports. For most travelers strollers only become a problem during the boarding process. Because the parents aren’t prepared to board. Airlines typically begin the boarding process 30-35 minutes prior to departure. Make sure you are at the gate before this time ready to board.
  • At one hour prior to your departure time, head over to the gate to get your stroller properly tagged. Most airlines will tag your stroller with a gate claim tag. This tag tells the ground personal to leave the stroller at the airplane and not baggage claim.
  • By ready, I mean have the kid out of the stroller or unbuckled ready to go. Go ahead and take the backpack off the stroller and empty the basket underneath. This will expedite the boarding process. You won’t be fumbling around with impatience passengers behind you at the end of the jet bridge.
  • Boarding process. Hopefully when you booked your flights you were smart enough to purchase your seats together. If you forgot, make sure you speak to the gate agent as early as possible and tell them you are traveling with your family so they can try and accommodate you all together. Don’t worry they will never make a child sit alone. It just means that Dad may have to deal with the kid the entire flight while Mom gets a nice nap in the front of the airplane.
  • Airlines have family boarding, which allows parents with small children to get on the plane early. This will give you a few extra minutes to get settled into your seats without nagging passengers. This is way you need to make sure you are at your gate early.
  • Potty Breaks are another issue parents with have to deal with. They are always unpredictable when it comes to going potty. If your kids are like mine they will tell you they need to go potty when the plane is on the runway for takeoff and they can’t hold it. Make sure you take frequent potty breaks in the airport before you board the aircraft.

On the airplane

Keeping your kids entertained on an airplane will probably be the most challenging part of your journey to Disney World. There isn’t a lot of space for the kids to run around and burn off energy. That’s why its important to make sure they can burn off their energy. Preparing specifically for the flight, can make traveling with kids much easier.

  • Potty breaks on the airplane. It will without a doubt happen. Your kids will have to go potty on the airplane. Most lavatories on aircraft are large enough for you and your toddler. Some of the smaller regional jets may be a tight squeeze. When possible always head to the potties in the aft of the aircraft. This way you can stand outside the door if you need to while your kid is going potty. You are not able to stand outside of the forward lavatory, you will have to go into the forward lavatory with your child per FAA regulations.
traveling with a kid on an airplane

The best way to keep your kids occupied and entertained while on the airplane is to have activities they can do in there seats. There are tons of activities to keep your kids busy with.

Are you looking for activities to do with your kids while traveling? Check our your activity packet, which has numerous pages of activities for kids to do. These are great to have when traveling with kids.

Disney Travel Games

Disney Themed Travel Games

Use code DISNEY2019 to get $1 off your purchase.

It’s also a great idea to charge up your Ipad or tablet and download some movies and games for the kids to play with. Just remember to bring headphones for them. The people around you may not want to list to Frozen on repeat. Most airlines do offer free inflight entertainment for some movies, but don’t count on this. The WiFi may go down or may not be any movies you want to watch.

Having your kids snack is another way to keep them busy and quiet during the flight. They will most likely get hungry during the flight and be begging you to eat.

Post Flight

This is probably the easiest part of traveling. The hardest part of deplaning is making sure you have grabbed everything you have brought onboard with you. To help make this process even easier stay seated until the majority of the aircraft has deplaned before you get up and start assembling the troops to get off. No need to rush off, you are going to have to wait for your stroller and for the ground crew to get your bags to baggage claim. Always make sure you do one final check behind your kids for anything they may have left.

  • Ground Transportation. Before you depart on your magical vacation, make sure you have travel arrangements already figured out to get you to Disney or your resort. If you are flying into Orlando and are heading over to Disney, the Magical Express is probably your best option.
  • The transportation to your resort is the last step you have before you arrive at Disney for your magical vacation and hopefully everything has gone smoothly so far. Do not mess it up here.

How do you manage your trips when you are traveling with kids? There are many ways to make a trip go smooth.

Christmas Gift Ideas

Disney Christmas Gift Ideas

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Christmas is getting closer and the stresses of finishing your Christmas shopping is increasing. Christmas shopping in your family is becoming more difficult as we all seem to have everything we need. Do you know have somebody like that in your family? Or are people bugging you for gift ideas. I know for me, coming up with Christmas Gift Ideas is difficult. After a recent trip through the shops of Main Street, I realized the amount of gifts right in front of me.

Is there a person on your Christmas shopping list who loves Disney? Chances are there is at least one person on your list who enjoys Disney to some extent. There are so much Disney related merchandise it can be overwhelming trying to know what to get that Disney person on your Christmas list.

Are you looking for some deals for Black Friday. ShopDisney has deals up to 50% off merchandise.

Source: ShopDisney

Here are the top Disney Gift Ideas for that Disney fanatic on your Christmas shopping list.

Clothing

Most people probably aren’t to thrilled about getting clothes for Christmas. This is not the case for your Disney fanatic. Most Disney fan will tell you they do not have enough Disney clothing.

Shirts are the most common purchase, but there are many other clothing options. Shorts, Pants, Jackets, Socks, Shoes, etc. One of my favorite non shirt items I have gotten from Disney World are a pair of flip flops. I forgot to pack flip flops for the pool on a trip to Disney, so I bought myself a pair and I always find myself wearing them all the time.

Jewelry

For the ladies on your list, Jewelry is always an excellent gift idea. There is a wide variety of jewelry you can gift. If you have ever walked into a store at Disney World, you will have seen jewelry of some sorts available for sale. Disney has a large collection of jewelry available including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. You can purchase jewelry that screams Disney World. Or you can find jewelry that have only subtle touches of Disney, giving you an elegant piece but also has the Disney touch to.

A lot of designers have teamed with Disney World and have created unique collections such as Pandora or Alex n’ Ani. If you are looking for Jewelry, make sure you head over to Disney Springs. There are lots of jewelry options at Disney Springs.

An excellent gift idea for the girls will be to purchase a charm bracket. This will let the girls add charms to their bracelet every time they visit Disney World.

MagicBands

Do you know people that are preparing for an upcoming trip to Disney World or who are new annual passholders? You can get them a specialty MagicBand.

MagicBands probably won’t be a good gift idea for Disney fans who have already been going for years as they probably already have a dozen magicBands. However if you can get a limited edition MagicBand you will probably be alright.

The price of Magic Bands begins at $14.99 and goes up. The average price for specialty Magic Bands ranges around $24.99

Backpack

Any person that spends any time at Disney World will need a backpack or bag to carry items around while exploring Disney World. Having a backpack is a great way to carry the essentials for a trip to Disney World. When picking out a backpack make sure you get them a Disney themed backpack. There are 100s of designs to choose from.

Want to take the backpack a step further, go ahead and fill it up with all the essentials needed for a day at the parks.

Games

Do your kids love playing games, why not get them a game depicting their favorite Disney characters. Many of our favorite classic games, have a Disney twist and make for an Christmas gift.

Gift Cards

OK, most people don’t like getting gift cards for Christmas. They aren’t very fun. But they are however a good idea for people who are planning a trip to Disney. With the costs of visiting Disney World so expensive people will be grateful to have gift cards to use throughout the parks and resorts.

gift cards at Sam's club

If you are going to go and purchase Gift cards, make sure you check out Sam’s Club or similar store and get discounts on your gift cards. Here you save a few dollars on the Gift cards. At Sam’s club you can buy $75 dollar worth of gift cards for $71.98 plus tax.

Mickey Ears/Mickey Ear Hats

Your little girls heading to Disney World will love having Mickey Ears to wear on their next adventure to Disney World. Disney has a large variety of different Mickey Ears to choose from. So you can’t go wrong with purchasing Mickey Ears.

Mickey Ear hats are a perfect alternative to the mickey ears for little boys. Mickey Ear hats, are very similar to the Mickey Ears we see all over the parks. They just have a solid hat on which the ears will be on. These can easily be customized with the child’s name on it.

Park Tickets

If you know people that are planning a trip to Disney World, or would like to take a trip to Disney World. Why not go ahead and purchase park tickets for them. If you purchase the tickets online, just select “This Order will be a Gift”

For those us that have annual passes, a renewal would be a awesome gift. Disney makes it possible check out how to give an annual pass.

Disney Trading Pins

Trading Pins are a popular collector items for Disney Fans and can be a great stocking stuffer. There are hundreds of different pins to choose from. Disney World is always changing and creating new pins, so it will be easy to get trading pins they don’t have in their collection. Pins will range in price from $8 to $30.

In addition to the the pins themselves you can get lanyards and organizing binders. There are endless options when it comes to designs on the lanyards. Don’t worry your Pin collector will not be mad for getting more lanyards. They will need them as they expand their collection.

Kitchen and Home Accessories

Getting one or two accessories for the person on your Christmas list will suffice the average person. However we all have that one friend who has Disney everywhere in their house. Or maybe they are a camper, and need accessories for their RV. Disney World has a large collection of Kitchen and Home Accessories.

Kitchen Accessories

Walk into a store at Disney World and you can find almost everything you need for a kitchen. You will be able to find everything you need for your kitchen except for the appliances themselves. That’s what your silhouette is for.

Some of the most common kitchen accessories are:

  • Cooking Utensils
  • Waffle Makers
  • Mickey Shaped Cutters
  • Aprons
  • Cookware. You can find all sorts of different cookware throughout Disney World
  • Kitchen Towels

Home Accessories

While home accessories are not as common and popular as kitchen accessories there still a large selection. Disney makes it easy to bring Disney into you home.

Picture frames, clocks and blankets are probably the top 3 Disney home accessories people will have.

Souvenirs

  • Beach Towel
  • Crocs
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Autograph Booking
  • Keychains
  • Ornaments

What is one Disney themed Christmas Gift you would want to have this year for Christmas?

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Address/Phone:
2901/3701 Osceola Parkway
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: (407) 938-3000

Check-in: 4pm
Check-out: 11am
Resort Area: Animal Kingdom
Category: Delux Villa


Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Disney Vacation Club Resort. The resort is divided into two areas, Kidani Village and Jambo House The resort sits on its own 40+ acre reserve, which is home to over 30 species of wildlife. You will have sweeping views of the wildlife from every part of the resort.

Jambo House is the first area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge guest will encounter after passing through the security gates for the resort. The Jambo House consists of your standard hotel style rooms, club level concierge rooms and handful “Villa” style rooms.

The Kidani Village adjacent to the Jambo House with its own entrance boast homelike features, which include a kitchen, living and dining areas. Which makes them a great option for larger families or guests looking to spend more time in their hotel room. Wait why would you do that?


Recreation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

OK, you may want to spend time at the resort because of all the recreation activities that are available to the guests. Guests will have access to two large swimming pools, a community center and a nice arcade.

Uzima Springs Pool. The Uzima Springs pool is a gorgeous 11,000sqft tropical oasis facing the Savanna. Located at the Jambo Housee. The pool includes a gentle sloping entrance and a 67 foot long water slide. Additionally, a lounge and bar nearby offer snacks and drinks.

Samawati Springs Pool. The Samawati Springs Pool, located near Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani!, features a 128- too waterslide dropping guests into an 118,000 gallon pool.

Uwanja Camp is included in this area, which offers a water playground for kids of all ages to play in.

Community Hall. One of the few resorts to have a community Hall. Guests staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge have access to a community hall which is a fun-filled space to relax and unwind.

Activities in these halls include games such as fooseball, air hockey, pool, ping pong, darts, etc. There are also craft stations and dvd’s for rent.

Safari So Good Arcade. Do you love video games, then you must check out the Arcade and challenge your friends to a game of basketball. You can find an arcade at the Jambo House and the Kidani Village.

Movies Under the Stars. Check the current movie schedule.


Dining

Jiko $$$($35 to $99 per adult)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
African Cuisine
Signature Dining

Boma- Flavors of Africa $$ ($15 to $34.99 per adult)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
African, American Cuisine
Buffet Style, Themed Dining

The Mara $($14.99 and under per adult)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
African, American Cuisine
Quick Service

Maji Pool Bar $($14.99 and under per adult)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village
African, American Cuisine
Quick Service, Pool Bar

Sanaa $$($15 to 34.99 per adult)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village
African, Indian Cuisine
Themed Dining
Enjoy views of the safari, while your family dines on African and Indian inspired cuisine.

Sanaa Lounge $($14.00 ad under)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village
African, Indian Cuisine


Amenities

Disney’s Animal Kindgom Lodge has a large number of onsite amenities. All designed to help make your stay more magical.

  • In room Celebrations
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet
  • Parking
  • Online Check-in
  • Resort Airline Check-in
  • Childcare Services
  • Mail Services
  • Merchandise Delivery and Pickup
  • Bus Transportation
  • Disney’s Magical Express
  • Disney Minnie Van Service
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services
  • Locker Rentals
  • Disney Signature Services
  • Spa & Fitness
  • Resort Conierge

Have you ever stayed at the Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? What was your favorite part of the resort?

Reviews of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

We recently stayed at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo House. This was a spur of the moment adjustment to our trip after our schedules would not allow us the time to head to Ft. Wilderness Campground. We booked a standard view room in the Jambo House for my birthday. Our day started at the parks while waiting for the room, once we got the room notification we knew that our room was upgraded. Always a plus. But we were not expecting the amazing service that we received when we entered the resort. We were met at main entrance by a concierge and taken up to the concierge floor to be checked-in. Now we had already done online check-in, had magicbands and our room number; so we could have easily ignored her and headed straight to our room.

We were given a club level savanna view room for the night. An upgrade worth almost $300. This alone may have spoiled us, with the concierge club amenities ad the view. Having club access is definitely a plus, we didn’t spend nearly as much as we normally do on food and drinks because of this.

This visit we didn’t spend nearly as much time as we should have at the Resort, there is so much to do at the resorts in Disney World. Overall this was an excellent stay for us.

Check-in Day. What to Do?

Check-in and Check-out days are almost always associated with a wasted day while on Vacation. Anytime you are on vacation the first and last day of the vacation are almost always wasted days, or just a day of traveling. Depending on where you are coming from you may spend the majority of your day traveling. If you can get to Disney World early on day one and leave later on the last day you can gain a lot of extra valuable time to your Disney vacation. Who wouldn’t love to gain an extra day or two at Disney? Especially when you have forked out a ton of money on this vacation.

You want to take advantage of these two days, but not sure how to take advantage of them? There are a lot of activities you can do when you get to Disney World that do not require heading to a park.

Check-in time is 3pm and Checkout time is 11am. This doesn’t mean you can’t show up to the resort early. If you haven’t done so already go ahead and check-in online. This way you won’t have to go to the resort when you get to Disney. You immediately begin having fun and you will receive a message when your room is ready. It’s possible that your room may be ready when you show up. I have been able to get in my room as early as 10:00AM

Arrive Early

Why flying into Orlando take advantage of the Magical Express and the bag service Disney provides. They will pick up your checked luggage and deliver it to your room in the afternoon. This is a great service to have especially if your flight gets you in early. You will need a Day Bag (Check out Disney’s Parks Bag Checklist) to carry around with you as Disney can’t guarantee your luggage will arrive at your room when you do. Even if you don’t use the Magical Express Disney will hold your luggage until your room is ready. Driving in! They will let you into the resort parking lot at any point on the day of arrival. 

If you haven’t already done so, you need to finalize all your plans for your vacation. Make sure you have all your fastpasses book, dining reservations booked, etc.

Leave Late

Take advantage of your last day and hang out as long as possible. While you will have to vacate your resort room at 11:00AM, you don’t have to leave the resort. If you are flying out, have guest services hold your luggage until its time for your Magical Express ride to th airport.

Next go get the lay of the land, explore the resort and locate the important things, food, swimming, shops and arcade. 

5 things do to on Check-in or Check-out Day.

1. Hang out at the resort.

  • The resorts at Disney World have a lot to offer, without you having to leave the resort. All resorts have swimming pools, arcades, food and shopping.
  • The resorts will have Movies Under the Stars. Not every resort shows a movie every night, make sure you pick up an activitiy calendar. 
  • Go for a swim at the pool. If you are able to get to the resort early, you can enjoy the pool before the crowds hit. Make sure you pack your swimsuit in your carry on bag with you. Each pool has a bathroom with a changing area for you. They also provide towels for you to use while at the pool. There are always afternoon activities for the kids at the pool. 

2. Take advantage of the non park activities

  • Explore the non park offerings Disney World has to offer. There is so much more to do around Disney World other than the parks. There are two miniature golf courses, 4 golf courses, Disney Springs, other resorts.
  • Disney Springs is a great option to visit on the day you Check-in or check-out day. Disney Springs has lots to shopping options, bowling, movie theater, Cirque du Soleil, NBA experience and live entertainment. 

3. Dining Reservations

  • If you are looking for a unique dining experience, go ahead and get that done on the first day. This way you will not have to worry about rushing out of Magic Kingdom in time to make your luau reservations at the Polynesian 

4. Head to the parks

  • Heading to a park on the day you check-in or check-out may not be for everybody visiting Disney World. If you aren’t traveling with little kids, then you can probably enjoy a park and accomplish everything, even if you arrive late. Just make sure the particular park isn’t closing early for a special event. Epcot and Hollywood Studios close at 10:00PM.
  • Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours on Check-out Day. If you hit the park at rope drop you can easily get 3-4 hours at the park before you have to check out of your rooom.

5. Visit the Outlet Malls

  • Take a trip over to the outlets and do some shopping. The Disney Character Warehouses in Orlando have a lot of great deals on merchandise that you won’t necessarily be able to find at the parks.
    • Orlando Premium Outlets
      8220 Vineland Ave #1252
      Orlando, FL 32821
    • Orlando International Premum Outlets
      4967 International Dr.
      Orlando, FL 32819
Souvenirs to Collect at Disney

Fun Souvenirs to Collect at Disney World

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

You have just spent all your money on a magical trip to Disney World for your family. Everybody is going to want souvenirs from the trip. You can easily walk into any store in Disney and spend several hundred dollars on various souvenirs and gifts. Many which will end up either broken before the end of the trip or buried in the kids toy chest when you get home. 

It’s OK to splurge on some souvenirs. Go ahead and get the large Buzz toy. Why not get them excited about other souvenirs that they can get while at Disney. The best part these souvenirs shouldn’t break the bank. Ok, I say shouldn’t because you can go crazy on some of these souvenirs and amass large collections of them.

There are many souvenirs for your family to collect while at Disney World and the best part is that many of them are free or don’t break the bank. You will be surprised you will probaby enjoy trying to find them and get them while visiting Disney. The kids or yourself may actually enjoy these items more so than that $30 Buzz Lightyear toy you bought them.

The best part about the souvenirs listed here is that they are relatively inexpensive and you can get new ones each time you come.

10 Fun Souvenirs to Collect

Here are 10 fun souvenirs for you and your family to collect while at Disney World. Listed in no particular order

1. Pressed Pennies

51 cents and you can get a penny pressed with a Disney World character or theme on it. Some of the challenge is trying to find the penny press machines. They are located all over the parks. But, many times they aren’t easily spotted because they are tucked in store or at the end of an attraction. 

Disney’s Collectible Pennies

OK, if your like my family this probably won’t end up being a cheap souvenir or hobby while at Disney. We enjoy going around the parks searching for new pennies. There are over 75 penny machines located throughout Disney. Many of these machines have 3 and 4 options to choose from. Additionally, there are several machines that offer up a quarter option.

2. Passholder Magnets

This isn’t for everybody, but if you are an annual passholder this is a perfect souvenir for you to collect. The best part about them is they are free and don’t take a lot of space to store. All you have to do is go to the park that has them at the particular time, scan your magicband and show your ID to get your magnet. Typically they will have the passholder magnets out during special events throughout the year. Our outside fridge is covered in these magnets. If you want to start collecting these magnets, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out when new magnets will be introduced.

3. Stickers

When you are walking around Disney with a toddler chances are a cast member will walk up to your child with a roll of stickers and hand them some. Our son almost always gets a handful of stickers every trip to Disney. Most of the time the stickers will be Mickey Mouse stickers. They do have other ones available you will just have to find the right cast member. This can be a great way to get your kid to go up to cast members and ask questions.

4. Buttons

Whenever you walk around disney you will see people wear buttons on their clothing that say “happy birthday”, “my first visit” or whatever else they want to have on the button. You can get a free button by visiting guest relations at a park or resort. Disney has limited options for the one’s they will give you at guest services, but you can write whatever you want on them. 

Disney Buttons

You can expand this collection by buying buttons. There are all sorts of different buttons that you can buy at the stores. Typically they come in packs of two and cost $9.99.

5. Disney Trading Pins

Of this list, Disney Trading pins will be the most expensive souvenir. However if you frequent any of Disney’s property’s these are a great souvenir to begin collect. At the parks you can get a Pin for between $8 and $15 dollars. The best part of collecting is that you can trade them with a cast member or another pin trader. Many of the Disney Pin Mystery packs have two pins in them, so if there is one you don’t like go ahead and trade it for one you want. The Disney outlet stores in Orlando are a great place to stock on up the pins at a lower cost. Parents if you are wanting a Disney hobby for yourself, get your kids involved in this one and use them to get extra pins. 

Disney Trading Pin Starter Sets

You can get a starter pin set for around $30 depending on the set. The set will come with with 3 to 5 pins and a lanyard for you to start with. 

6. Transportation Trading Cards

This isn’t a very known souvenir and not something many people ask for nor do cast members hand them out readily. However Disney does have a set of transportation trading cards that you can collect. You can collect monorail, bus and tram cards. There are 27 cards for you to collect. The next time you are on a boat, monorail or ferry as the captain/operator if they have any cards. They may or may not have some, they don’t carry a lot with them.

7. Sorcerers Cards at Magic Kingdom

The Sorcerers cards at Magic Kingdom is more of game throughout the park in which you try to defeat the Disney Villains. Each day guests can receive a map and two cards from the firehouse on Main Street. There are roughly 70 different cards for you to collect here. 

Sorcerers cards magic kingdom

8. Maps an Brochures

This may not be a fun one for everyone, but it’s a great way for you to keep a great memory of your trip to Disney World. There are lots of different maps and brochures you can collect from your adventures around Disney World. You can collect the standard park maps. Disney will also publish special maps and brochures for various events and new attractions. When they opened up the new Star Wars land, they created a special edition map of the park. Any of the festivals that happen around Epcot always have a pamphlet for you to use and enjoy.  I guarantee if you save your and look at it in 10 years the park will be different.

9. Charactor Signatures

Of all the free souviners at Disney world, this one is will take a lot of patience standing in line to get. Your little ones will probaby enjoy this the most because they do get to see the characters. Grab yourself an autograph book and sharpie then hit up the character meet and greet spots located throughout the parks. The characters will sign the book and you also get your picture taken with the characters. Only downside to this is that sometimes the waits to see a character can last well over an hour. 

Character meet and greets occur at various times throughout the park with the charactor usually hanging around for 15-20 minutes before they have to take a quick break and come back. 

10. Postcards

Another great souvenir I recently have found at Disney World are postcards. You can find all different kinds of postcards in the resort gift shops and at the shops throughout the parks. Postcards can be purchased for either $1.99 or $2.99.

The best thing about Postcards is that you can purchase them at Disney World and mail them back home to yourself or kids.

These are 10 great souvenirs ideas that you can collect during your visits to Disney World. The best part about these are that you can continue to collect them and expand your collections each time you visit Disney. They aren’t just limited to Disney World in Orlando, you can collect and expand your collections if you visit any other Disney property.

What is your favorite souvenir to collect while visiting Disney World?

Free activities at disney world

Free Activities at Disney World

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You have just spent a ton of money on your magical vacation to Disney World. You are trying to do everything you can to make it special for your kids and have them enjoy it. Searching Pinterest you can find all sorts of activities to do around Disney World. You may be surprised at the number of free activities for you and the family around Disney World.

Some of the free activities do require a park ticket. Once you get into the parks, it will be easy to spend a lot of money making your kids happy. Disney offers a lot of extra activities for a cost. However, there are a lot of free activities available to you during your visit.

There are free activities available at the parks, resorts and Disney Springs, so you don’t necessarily need a ticket to a park to enjoy these free activities. Some activities will however be better enjoyed while in the parks.

Disney World has a ton of activities available to your and your family. Here is our list of the Top free activities to enjoy while at Disney World.

Top Free Activities at Disney World

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey’s are probably everybody’s favorite activity while exploring Disney World. Disney is know for creating speculator displays and decorations around the parks and resorts. Imagineers took this one step further and have hidden mickey heads or silhouettes throughout many of the attractions and resort.

Hidden Mickey Challenge
Can you find the Hidden Mickey in this picture?

Hidden Mickey’s are mickey heads that are created into various elements around Disney World. You can spot hidden mickey’s in the gardens, throughout attractions, in the chandeliers around resorts. There are 1000s of hidden mickey’s for you to search for. You purchase books online to help you track down all the hidden mickey’s around the world.

Hidden Mickey Challenge
Track the number of Hidden Mickey’s you find throughout the parks. Download our free Hidden Mickey tracker. Print it out on card-stock paper and have fun finding hidden mickeys.

Resort Hoping

Resort hoping
Photo Credit: MagicGuides.com

Resort Hoping is a favorite activity of many passholders and guests who are looking for a good time at Disney World without spending time inside the parks. With more than 20 resorts around Disney World. Each being themed differently, having different restaurants, shops, and activities for your entire family. Best part is that you don’t have to be a resort guest to guest hop. Resort hoping during the holidays is one of our favorite activities. Due to the fact that each resort is decorated different and many have special activities and displays for us to enjoy. Holidays at Disney World!

Movies

The resorts will have movie night out on the lawn. Check with your resort as its not every night for all resorts. If you are looking for an evening activity with your kids, this is a great way to end your day.

Check here for the current movies playing at the various resorts. They are always changing. Unfortunately they only publish the movie list at the beginning of the month.

Fireworks

One thing Disney does well are their evening firework shows. Disney has firework shows at 3 of the 4 parks. Many people think that you can only get fireworks at the parks. However you can get excellent views of the firework shows throughout Disney property without having to be in a park. The Magic Kingdom evening fireworks shows can be seen from the Contemporary Resort and the beach at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. We have even watched the Fireworks from our car in the parking lot.

Parades

In addition to the fireworks, Disney World has awesome parades in the parks. Every day there are several parades for guests throughout the parks. There is only one parade that does not require a park ticket to watch. The Electric Light parade is the only parade that does not require a park admission. This parade goes around the 7 Seas Lagoon and can be viewed from the Dock at the Wilderness Lodge or the beach of Ft. Wilderness Campground.

Concerts

Who doesn’t love listening to live music. Disney World has several amphitheater’s around the property which almost always have a concert going on. The most popular amphitheater is the America Garden Theater in Epcot’s World Showcase. This amphitheater hosts the annual Eat to the Beat, Candlelight Processional and many other concerts. A park ticket is required to get into Epcot for these. If you are looking to attend a concert at Disney without buying a park ticket head over to Disney Springs. Not only do they have concerts at the Marketplace Stage or the House of Blues, but there are always live street entertainers throughout Disney Springs.

Disney Springs

Image of Disney Springs

You do not have to be a resort guest or have a park ticket to go and enjoy Disney Springs. Disney Springs has a lot to offer. Many of the activities are free but there are also many activities which require an admission fee.

Disney’s Boardwalk

Ok we have already mentioned resort hopping as an excellent free activity. Boardwalk has a lot of extra activities, that you can’t find at other resorts. Disney’s Boardwalk has several live entertainment venues, several dining options. Enjoy the street performers around the Boardwalk or even head over to the Atlantic Dance Hall.

Kidcot Crafts

Kidcot Location

Disney provides kid activities at each of the pavilions around the world at Epcot known as Kidcot Crafts. These stations are called Kidcot Crafts and offer supplies so you can color, draw and collect activity cards at each pavilion.

Sorcerer at Magic Kingdom

Sorcerer at Magic Kingdom

Are you looking to save Magic Kingdom? Grab your Sorcerer cards at the Fire station on Main Street and help defeat the villains and save Magic Kingdom. Players will find portals located throughout Magic Kingdom in which players tap their magic bands and follow the screens to play the game.

Wilderness Explorer

Grab a wilderness explorer handbook and go on a self guided exploration around Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Wilderness guides throughout the park will help orient you so you can accomplish different tasks throughout the parks. Make sure you grab your badge after you complete each task. Don’t worry you will not have to complete the entire handbook in one visit.

Agent P’s Adventures

Become a secret agent and help Perry in his quest to prevent world domination around Epcot’s World showcase. All you need is a phone and you can begin your mission. Use the Play Disney Parks app to play. Your phone will provide you you clues to help solve each mission as you travel around the world. Your progress will only be saved for the day. So if you do not complete it in one day, you will have to start over.

Finding Hidden Mickey’s and Resort Hoping are our two favorite free activities to do while at Disney World. What is your favorite activity while at Disney World?

Free activities at Walt Disney World
Memory Maker is it worth it?

Disney’s Memory Maker

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You are heading off to Disney World for a magical vacation and you want to be able to capture all the magical moments. Fear not, Disney World has photographers scattered throughout the parks. They will capture those magical moments. You will spot the photographers at many of the iconic landmarks around Disney, all the character meet and greets, and sometimes just wondering throughout the parks. Additionally, many of the attractions have automated cameras to capture moments from the attractions.

If you are getting your photo taken by a Disney photographer, make sure to scan your magicband. This will link the photos the photographer took to your account so you can view them later. Disney gives you the ability to purchase these photos for a small fee. This could add up quick if you are getting a lot of photos taken while at Disney World

Disney World offers a service known as Memory Maker. Which offers the guests, the ability to download all their PhotoPass photos and purchase prints at a discounted price.

Cost of Memory Maker

Adding the Memory Maker to your Disney vacation package will cost you $169 if purchased in advanced of your stay. However if you purchase it once you are already on property it will run you $199 dollars. You can purchase Memory Maker by logging into your MyDisneyExperience app.

What will be the costs of getting photos without Memory Maker? Disney gives you the option to purchase photos on a daily basis for $69.99 or $16.95 per photo. You will need to purchase 12 individual photos or 3 days worth of photos. So if you plan on spending more than 3 days at Disney World the costs associated with Memory Maker will be worth it.

From the image below you can see the price of purchasing an individual photo and some of the extras your can purchase as well.

Disney Memory Maker screenshot

12 photos may seem like a lot, however there are more than 12 rides which offer in ride photos and and dozens of photo opportunities throughout the parks.

What does it include?

What are you getting with Disney’s Memory Maker?

  • You will have access to view all your PhotoPass photos for 45 days.
  • Unlimited downloads of all the photos.
  • Discounts on PhotoPass prints at Disney World.
  • Ride Photos
  • Skilled Photographers throughout the parks.
  • Photos with all the charactors
  • Photographers at the prime locations sometimes with props.

It is important to remember that these photos are only available for 45 after they are taken. After that day they will be lost forever. If this is a concern for you, check out Disney’s Archive USB.

Is it Worth It?

If you and your family are wanting to capture photos with characters around Disney World or want those iconic shots then the Memory Maker may be for you.

I have always been hesitant about the price of Disney’s Memory Maker and if it would be worth the cost. For the longest time, I really hadn’t seen the reason to purchase it. With today’s smartphones you can easily snap high quality photos right on your phone, so what’s the need.

After a recent trip to Disney world with my son my mind was changed. Our son hadn’t really been big on meeting the characters until this visit. However this visit meeting the characters seemed to be only thing he wanted to do. As we stood in line waiting, I noticed how the photographers were always snapping photos of the family and characters. It wasn’t just when they were standing there with the character, they took photos of the kids as they were running up to mickey or staring at him while he signed their autograph books.

They were able to capture photos we as parents would never be able to capture, especially if you are juggling more than one child, a stroller and your bags. After previewing some of the photos on my phone, I had my mind changed about the Memory Maker.

If you are an annual passholder or will be getting a lot of photos taken during your visit then the Memory Maker is for you

Disney Parks Backpack

Disney Parks Bag!

What to pack for a Day at the Parks

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Even for a Disney veteran, deciding what to pack in your Disney bag can be a challenging task. You definitely don’t want to under pack, however you don’t want to over pack and carry a bunch of other stuff around. As a newbie to the parks it can be daunting to figure out what you should and shouldn’t pack in your Disney bag.

I am the person who will always under pack for a trip to Disney. I hate carrying extra stuff around the parks. Especially when I end up having to carry a toddler around as well. Most of the time I can manage with what I have, but it seems like there is always something else I wish I had packed.

Being a family that visits disney several times a month with a toddler, we almost always have a Disney bag packed ready to go. Since we are passholders, most of our trips hardly ever last a full day. We carry the same essentials that any person visiting Disney should have in their bag. You never know when a two hour trip around the world at Epcot will turn into a 6 hour adventure.

Now that you are ready to begin packing your Disney parks bag, you first need to find a suitable bag. There are countless options for the kind of bag you can use for the bags. We prefer to use a backpack. You may want to pack a cooler or use two bags.

Whatever style of bag you decide to use, it can’t be any larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high. This shouldn’t be problem if for using any standard backpacks or lunch totes.

Before you pack your bag make sure you are familiar with Disney’s policy on prohibited items.  https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/park-rules/

What to pack?

Reusable Water Bottle

child packing a backpack for Disney

Bring your own refillable water bottle to the parks with you. You can always ask for a cup of water with ice at any of the quick service restaurants and refill your bottle, or you can use any of the water fountains around the park. Many of the water fountains will actually have cold water. If you forget to bring water, expect to pay $3 for a bottle of water or drink. While packing water, go ahead and thrown in an extra drink to two to avoid having to buy drinks later.

Rain Poncho

In Florida during the summer you can expect rain for at least 15 minutes every afternoon and you want to be prepared for it. Wouldn’t you hate to be walking around soaking wet for the rest of the afternoon after that quick downpour. I know I hate walking around the parks all wet. Yes you can buy ponchos at most stores throughout disney, however you may not be able to make it in time if you are standing in line for your favorite ride. A rain poncho can easily be thrown in your backpack and won’t take up much room.

Clorox Wipes

While Disney cast members do an excellent job trying to keep everything clean around Disney. However, you may want to sang a table before they can clean it. Clorox wipes are great for wiping down the table to eat, or cleaning up a small mess.

Hand Sanitizer

Keeping your hands clean throughout the park to avoid germs is a challenge. Having hand sanitizer will make it easier to clean your hands before eating a snack or having lunch.

Phone Charger

While this may not seem like a priority to have in your park bag you will regret not having it when your phone dies. If you plan on spending a large part of the day at the parks your phone will eventually die. You will want/need to charge it. You will use your phone to take pictures of your adventures, exploring the Play Disney app while waiting in line for rides and using the mydisneyexperience app to plan your day. Check out some of our favorite apps to use while at disney.

Camera

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to use your phone for pictures bring your camera. You can take thousands of photos throughout the day. The only limitation with a camera is no selfie sticks, however many people find ways around this and they end up in the parks.

Snacks

Trying to visit disney on a budget, pack your own snacks so you are not spending tons of money on food throughout the day. A bag of popcorn will easily run you 8 dollars or a churro will cost you 5 dollars.

Fan

Florida gets hot during the Summer. Many of us joke that Florida has two seasons: hot and hotter. It can easily reach 100 degrees during the afternoon in the summer, throw in the humidity we have in central Florida and it can become unbearable. Having a small portable fan will help keep you cool while standing in those long lines or just walking around. If you have a toddler a Fan is an absolute must if you want to spend any length of time at disney.

Sunscreen

I am horrible about remembering sunscreen, but having and using sunscreen is important to have on in Florida. Even when the sun isn’t shining it is possible to get burnt. I usually get burnt the worst on a cloudy day, because I am not expecting it.

MagicBands

This seems like a no brainer, but we have shown up to disney several times with one of us missing our magicbands. No its not the end of the world, just more of a headache. You will just have to go over to guest services to get a pass to enter the park. We always keep a set of magicbands strapped to our Disney parks bag.

Lip Balm

Being out in the sun all day can dry out and burn your lips. Having a good Lip Balm with SPF can help keep your lips moisturized and from burning.

Bug Repellent

Disney does a great job of keeping the mosquitos away from the parks and resorts, they can’t keep them all away. The mosquitos become most active right around sunset. Having bug repellent will make for a happy toddler who isn’t scratching all night at their arms and feet. If you have ever been bitten by a mosquito they are a pain.

First Aid Kit

You want to make sure you have bandages, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone for those pesky mosquitoes, pain relievers.

Ziplock Bags

Ziplock bags will be great to have to store random things that will collect in your backpack. They are also great to keep your wet clothes after splash mountain, or your kids outfit after they spilt their lunch on it.

Reusble Straws

In an effort to go green, Disney has replaced all their plastic straws with paper straws. Having your own reusable straws will allow you to enjoy a drink without having to taste a soggy paper straw. It is important to remember when packing straws to bring to the parks, you cannot bring in any plastic straws into Animal Kingdom. They will confiscate any plastic straws you try to bring in, even the ones attached to your kids juice box.

Gum

If you forget to pack gum and get a craving for it, you will be in trouble as Disney World does not sell Gum on property.

Baby Essentials for your Disney Parks Bag

If you are visiting disney with a baby or toddler here are some extras you will need in your Disney Parks Bag.

Diapers

If you are visiting Disney with a little one, you will need to have a stash of diapers for your day. Make sure your Disney Parks bag is always packed with a handful of extra diapers, running out will be the worst feeling ever.

Baby Wipes

Just with diapers, you will need to have a decent stash of baby wipes to clean up messes.

Pacifer

Bring a couple with you, your baby will without a doubt drop one or two or one will get left behind somewhere. Put the Pacifier on a pacifier clip and clip it to the child so it will be harder to lose.

Stroller Cover

If you want to keep anything dry while you are at the parks, it will be the stroller, so make sure you have a good rain cover that will fit the stroller and keep it dry during the afternoon rain showers.

Don’t worry if you happen to forget any of these supplies, each park has a baby center located in the park that you can go and purchase the items you need. 

Make sure you have your disney bag packed and ready to go for your next trip to disney. What is your must have for any trip to Disney?

 

How to afford your next Disney Trip

How to afford a trip to Disney

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Your kids have been begging you for months now to take you to Disney and wont leave you alone about it. You want to say yes to them and provide them with the trip of a lifetime to Disney World. You know they will make memories that will last a lifetime at Disney regardless of their age. All you hear are people talking about the outrageous costs of going to disney. In fact a trip to Disney can be expensive, especially when you start booking a room at a resort, getting your park tickets and buying meals. The cost of this magical vacation can begin to add up quickly. Spoiler Alert! Once you arrive at Disney, you are going to have a lot of extra costs that you probably havent planned for. We will save all these other expenses for another article so we don’t scare you away from Disney.

The cash register in your head is spinning fast, your sweating as to how can you make your family happy and how you are going to afford this trip. However with a little planning, understanding the costs, and time you can afford to give that magical vacation to your family.

7 Tips to afford Disney World

1. Savings plan

The first step to being able to afford the trip to Disney, is to save up some money. My recommendation for a family of 4 planning a week long vacation to Disney is save between $4000-$5000 for trip. This is for a resort, park passes and dining plan. To go conservative you may want to save even more money for souvenirs and paid experiences at Disney. Not everything will be included in your resort fee or your park tickets

Yes, I just told you to save a large amount of money for the trip. However if you take your time planning and researching when, where and what for your trip to Walt Disney World. You can easily cut this price down and save money on your trip. In the end the trip will be worth every penny

How expensive is Disney.

For a Family of 4 (2 Adults and 2 Kids) Traveling to Disney World for a 6 day vacation could possibly lead to a bill of $4300 with the following items added to your vacation.

Disney Pop Century Resort Standard Pool View- $1166.61
5 day ticket with admission to 1 park each day-    $1979.26
Quick service dining plan- $954.95
Memory Maker- $169.00
Grand Total without Tax- $4269.82

This is a very rough sample of the cost of a trip to Disney in 2020.

There are many ways you can save the money for this Disney trip. You can set up a spare change jar or create a savings calendar. However you do it, get your kids excited and involved in it. Have them save their spare change or the birthday money they got from Nana and Papa.

Here is a savings tracker that you can use to keep track of your progress towards reaching that goal.

Trak your savings for your next Disney Trip

2. Book and Visit during the off season

You may say to yourself Disney doesn’t have an off season, but it really does. The normal off season for Disney is January/February and September. Unfortunately off season is usually when your children are in school. Don’t let the teachers fool you, Disney is very educational. In that case, check with your child’s school and see if you can make it an excused absence. If you can’t go during the off season, and have to go during a holiday or summer, do your research to find the best deals available.

If you end up having to book during peak season, there are many ways in which you can cut your costs and help reduce the financial strain of Disney. When booking consider staying off property at a nearby hotel. Or see if you can crash at a family or friends house near the parks. Take a close look at the ticket options and find the one that best suits your needs and wants for the trip.

Remember you don’t have to do everything that is available at Disney. Do things you want and enjoy to do. There are attractions at Disney that you may not have any desire to see.

For latest crowd level estimates check out Magic Guides.

3. Only have to pay the deposit when booking

When it comes to booking a vacation at Disney you can book the vacation up to 499 days in advance. This gives you a lot of time to prepare for your vacation. The great thing about Disney is that you do not have to pay for your entire trip when you book it. You will only be required to pay a deposit for your trip. The deposit for a vacation is usually between $200-$400 if you are booking well in advance. A last minute booking may require you to pay the entire cost upfront.

4. Pay as you go for the vacation

7 Tips to Afford a magical trip to Disney World
7 tips to afford a Disney trip

You are typically not required to pay the full vacation amount when you originally book it. You will have until a month prior to your vacation to pay for it. Now, that you have booked your vacation, paid the deposit and are counting down the days. Why not slowly pay down the balance between now and the day of your arrival. You can pay a little towards the balance at anytime. Just be aware that the balance of your trip will be taken out of the credit card a month prior to your vacation. Make sure you read the fine print when booking

Take the savings chart from above and use it to track your vacation payoff.

5. Deciding to stay on or off property. One of the most expensive parts of visiting Disney World is the resort. While this is probably one of the top 3 most expensive aspects of your trip, this can also be one area you can save a fair bit of money for your vacation. Disney has over 30 resort options for you to choose from; prices ranging from $50 a night to over an $1000 a night. In addition to all the Disney resort options, there are plenty of non Disney hotels for you look at. The debate of staying on or off property is a never ending debate as to which one is better. Each option has its perks.

Since we live close to disney we only stay on property if we want to spend any length of time at Disney. So we are going to be partial to staying on property. The main advantage of staying on property is the free transportation around Disney world. You park your car in front of your hotel room and let it sit there for the week. Another advantage of staying on property are all the activities that the resorts have to offer. Swimming pools, arcades, nightly movies and numerous kids activities, that you most likely can’t get at an outside hotel. If your main priority are the parks then staying off property could work out since you won’t be using the hotel very much, however you will have to factor in the cost of parking and/or transportation to the parks.

My one recommendation for those that want to stay off property is to try and snag a room at one of the hotels along Disney Springs. This way you can walk to the Disney Springs bus stop and use Disney’s transportation and avoid the parking fee for the parks.

If you want to stay on property and want to go with the cheapest option, you will want to look at camping at the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. You can sometimes snag a tent/pop-up site for as little as $50 a night, the only downside is you will be sleeping in a tent, which during the summer may not be fun for your family.

6. Which park tickets do I need/want? Spend some time researching what the parks have to offer and what your family would like to do or can do. From here create a plan of what you would like to do during this visit at Disney World. If you are only going to be at Disney for 3 days with a toddler, you may not plan or need to visit all the parks. Or maybe you want to make sure you visit the water park over going to Hollywood Studios.

Therefore, when booking your vacation Disney will give you options for what kind of tickets you would like to add to your stay. The 1 park a day selection is the automatically selected (for each day of your vacation) ticket option, however this may not be the option for you. Check out which ticket is right for you and ride height requirements to get a better idea of the ticket option you want to pick.

One way to cut the cost of the park tickets is to not get park tickets for the day you check-in and check-out. Unless you plan on arriving super early and leaving super late, you may not get your money’s worth at the park for these days.

A perk to staying on property is Extra Magic hours for resort guests to get in early or stay late to parks. This increasing your chances of being able to experience more attractions!

7. Understand all the cost involved with the vacation. You have booked your resort stay and purchased your tickets and now your all set. Wrong. Once you show up to the resort and the parks you are going to incur other costs that you didn’t plan for when you booked your trip.

If you drive your vehicle you will need to pay a parking fee at the resort. If you did not purchase a Dining plan you will need to pay for all your meals. Even with a dining plan there will be times when you have to pull out the credit card and pay for some food.

You are going to buy souvenirs and gifts for the family and they will add up quickly. Check out some fun and free souvenir ideas for the family. If you brought your own vehicle with you to Disney, one great option to get a discount on Disney merchandise is to go over to one of the disney outlets. Unfortunately they are not on disney property, but you can find great bargains on disney merchandise. Check out character warehouse at the Vineland outlets, a short 12 minute drive from Disney Springs.

Pressed Pennies

When looking at the cost of your trip to Disney, it may look expensive, but when you consider everything it entails it is without a doubt worth every penny, especially when it comes to staying on property. Disney goes above and beyond to make sure your vacation is as magical as possible. While I have never stayed off property while visiting Disney. I do spend a lot of time in various hotels and resorts for work. I can tell you that you will be 100 times happier with staying on property for your vacation.

Affording a trip to Disney World
Tips to Afford a trip to Disney World

For more information on how to afford your disney trip or to save some money while at disney, use our search feature and search “affording disney” and you will find many other great articles to help you.

Ride Height Requirement Feature Image

Disney World Ride Height Requirements

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For attractions that have height requirements, there are measurements stations at the entry to each ride and cast members are standing by to measure your child’s height, however it is possible for them to get missed at this point and make it all the way through the line and end up getting turned away because they are not tall enough for the roller coaster. If your child is right there on the line, one cast member may say they are tall enough to ride, while another one later down the line may say no.

While planning a trip to Disney World can be fun, it can also a little stressful especially when you are traveling with little ones. Your kids will be excited and they may want to try and experience everything, but depending on their age and height they may not be able to ride on every attraction. Trying to determine what attractions they can and cannot ride can be tough to figure out. Knowing the ride height requirements may make your vacation a little easier as it will help you choose what park or parks you may want to visit.

Between the 4 parks and 2 water parks at Disney World, there are a lot of attractions that everyone in your group can go on. The majority of the rides are for prince’s and princess’ of all ages, which is especially great when you are traveling with the family to Disney. If you are traveling with little ones and wanted to skip on a park, Hollywood Studios may be the park you’d want to skip, as this park only has two rides available for little ones under the height requirement of 38 inches.

It is always a good idea to measure your child before the trip and have an idea of what they can enjoy, just remember what shoes they are in when you measure them. You don’t want to get your kids hyped up for Slinky Dog only to get there and find out they are too short to ride it.

For those that are worried they won’t be able to enjoy some of the larger rides because they have a little one who isn’t quite tall enough for the ride, Disney has you covered. Disney offers a Ride Swap Program. The Disney Rider Swap program allows one adult to wait with a child who isn’t tall enough to enjoy the ride, while the rest of the party goes and enjoys the ride. Once they are finished with the ride, they meet up with the rest of their group and the parent who waited back can go and enjoy the ride. Disney’s Rider Swap

Magic Kingdom

  • Jungle Cruise- All heights
  • Pirates of the Caribbean- All heights
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin- All heights
  • Splash Mountain- 40”
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- 40”
  • Haunted Mansion- All heights
  • It’s a Small World- All heights
  • Peter Pan’s Flight- All heights
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic- All heights
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel- All heights
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train- 38”
  • Mad Tea Party- All heights
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh- All heights
  • Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaind- All heights
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant- All heights
  • The Barnstormer- 35”
  • Tomorrowland Speedway- 32”
  • Space Mountain- 44”
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover- All heights
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin- All heights
Magic Kingdom ride height requirements
DIsney’s Magic Kingdom ride height for attractions.

Epcot

  • Spaceship Earth- All heights
  • Mission Space- 44”
  • Test Track- 40”
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends- All heights
  • Soarin- 40”
  • Living with the Lands- All heights
  • Frozen Ever After- All heights
  • Journey into. Imagination with Figment- All heights
Epcot Ride Height Requirements
Ride Height requirements for rides at Epcot

Hollywood Studios

  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror- 40”
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith- 48”
  • Star Tours- The Adventure Continues- 40”
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run- 38”
  • Rise of the Resistance – 40″
  • Alien Swirling Saucers- 32”
  • Toy Story Mania!- All heights
  • Slinky Dog Dash- 38”
Hollywood Studio Ride Heights
Ride high requirements for rides at Hollywood Studios

Animal Kingdom

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris- All heights
  • Avatar Flight of Passage- 44”
  • Na’vi River Journey- All heights
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!- All heights
  • Kali River Rapids- 38”
  • Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain- 44”
  • Triceratops Spin- All heights
  • Dinosaur- 40”
Animal Kingdom Ride Height Requirements
Ride height requirements for Animal Kingdom

Blizzard Beach

  • Summit Plummet- 48”
  • Tike’s Peak- All heights
  • Ski Patrol Training Camp- All heights
  • Teamboat Springs- All heights
  • Toboggan Racers- All heights
  • Snow Stormers- All heights
  • Runoff Rapids- All heights
  • Downhill Double Dipper- 48”
  • Meltaway Bay- All heights
  • Chair Lift- 32”
  • Cross Country Creek- All heights
  • Slush Gusher- 48”
Blizzard Beach ride height requirements
Ride height requirements for Blizzard Beach

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Crush ‘n’ Gusher- 48”
  • Castaway Creek- All heights
  • Surf Pool- All heights
  • Ketchakiddee- All heights
  • Gang Plank Falls- All heights
  • Humbugs Kowabunga- 48”
  • Shark Reef- All heights
  • Keelhaul Falls- All heights
  • Mayday Falls- All heights
  • Storm Slides- All heights

Make sure you know what attractions your family can enjoy before you get to Disney World. What’s your favorite ride at Disney World?