Top 10 Must Try Foods at Walt Disney World

Although we have experienced Disney a number of times, there are still places and foods we have yet to try. We have composed a Top 10 must try foods while we are at Disney.

10) Waffle sandwich from Sleepy Hollow at Magic Kingdom.

9) Apple Strudel from Sommerfest, Germany Pavillion at Epcot

8) Cinnamon Rolls from Gaston’s Tavern at Magic Kingdom.

7) Caramel Popcorn from Karamell-Kuche, Germany Pavillion at Epcot

6) A Treat from Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom

5) Croque Glacé, L’Artisan des Glaces, French Pavillion at Epcot

4) Fried Rice, Yak and Yeti quick service, at Animal Kingdom

3) School Bread, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, Norway Pavillion, at Epcot

2) Ramen, Katsura Grill, Japan Pavilion, at Epcot

1) Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, at all parks.

No we have not tried a Premium Ice Cream Bar yet, well at least Sammie hasn’t and neither has Alice, so it is a must do on this trip. Following our trip look for our Top 5 of our Favorite 1st time snacks!

That is all for today!

Until next time Remember: The best is yet to come!

5 Reasons we think Memory Maker is worth it.

We love using the Memory Maker when we go and it isn’t for the ride photos. We love getting all the photos outside of the rides and with this upcoming trip being Alice’s first time, we wanted to make sure to get all the  photos! So here are 5 reasons we love The Memory Maker at Disney World.

  1. All the money you honestly save: The Memory Maker costs $169.00 if purchased in advance of your trip and $199.00 to start immediately if you purchase at the park. If you purchase the Memory Maker in advance but too close to your trip, the day before your trip, the first three days won’t have the Memory Maker because of processing. The cost to purchase a photo that a Photopass photographer takes, plus the ride photos, the special character meet and greets, etc… those photo costs can add up quickly. With PhotoPass you spend the $169 and you get ALL OF YOUR PHOTOS. From the day the photo was taken you have 45 days to download your photo before you lose it. We have hundreds of photos that would have cost us a lot more than the price of the Memory Maker. It may not seem like it but it does save you money, if photos are a priority to you.
  2. The Magic Shots: Disney can make Magic happen everywhere and that includes with the photos. These photos are called magic shots and they can make some of those amazing disney characters join in your photos. For example we have photos with Tinkerbell and Olaf! I have seen Stich as well and there are many different ones at each park! All those Magic shots that a photographer does are included in your Memory Maker price.
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  3. The quality of the photos: The cast members taking the photos aren’t just random teenagers that they pulled off the streets. These are legit photographers that have been trained to take these photos. We have tons of beautiful photos especially at Epcot that we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for these amazing cast members. Great quality photos for a pretty good price. Most photo studios charge $169 for 20 photos on a CD.
  4. The ability to share the Memory Maker with your entire group. Only one person in your group has to purchase the Memory Maker. That means whether you have a group of 2 or a group of 10 you all can use the same account. You can even split the cost if you go with friends and that makes this even more affordable. This is great for families especially. We will be going with Sammie’s family next year and we will definitely be getting this so we can capture all the moments with Grammie and Papa, Uncle, and Auntie.
  5. Finally you get any character meet and greet that has a photopass photographer. This includes Mickey, Tinkerbell, Ariel, etc. There are lots of characters to meet and wonderful photographers to capture those moments. We have some amazing candid moments of use talking to Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder that we wouldn’t have gotten without the memory maker. This is a great way to capture some really amazing memories with these characters and you don’t have to fumble around with your camera.
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So there you go our Top 5 reasons we think Memory Maker is totally worth it. If you are a first timer to Disney or you are going with your child for the first time, we definitely suggest the Memory Maker just to capture those first moments. It is worth it.

Until next time remember: The best is yet to come!!!!

What to do after booking your Disney Vacation.

After you book your Vacation and your flights if you are flying, it is time to start planning your stay overall. If you booked at 180 days or less for your trip you will want to do these things as soon as you book. If you book over 180 days in advance some of these are not as urgent. But nonetheless it is all things you will need to do following your booking.

First things first, after booking your vacation you will be given a confirmation number. You will need this number in order to sign up for the My Disney Experience. This is the first thing you should do following your booking. My Disney Experience is where you customize your magic bands, make reservations and create your fast passes. You can control your entire families itinerary from here. You can also add special events and other extras on My Disney experience. An example of a special event is the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. An example of an extra is the Memory Maker if you didn’t add it at the time of booking.

Next you will want to customize your magic bands! Pick your color and name and submit it. Your magic bands will ship out to your house one month before your trip. If you book your trip less than a month before you go you can have your magic bands sent to your hotel. We recommend checking with the hotel before your arrival that the bands are in fact there and also get the name of who you spoke to. When we went last year we were told our bands were not at the hotel after we had called and spoken with someone prior to our trip. After much argument with one person and a less than helpful assistant manager we were given replacement bands and got a phone call later saying our bands had been found. We also got free Fast Passes to whatever rides we wanted to at anytime for each day of our stay to make up for the issues. Disney doesn’t like unhappy guests and will help make things right.

After customizing your magic bands, you will want to choose which parks you want to do what days, this is so that you can begin deciding what Fast Passes you need for what days and what restaurants, if you are doing any, you are going to be looking at for which days.

After deciding what days you want to be at which parks, the next thing will be deciding where to have your sit down dinners. This is if you chose to do one of the two dining plans with the sit down meal option or if you aren’t doing a dining plan but would like to do a sit down meal this is the time to choose your restaurants. At 180 days before your trip you are allowed to begin making dinning reservations. If you book your vacation before your 180 days, you will be allowed to make reservations at 7 AM on day 180. YOU WILL WANT TO BE ONLINE AT 7 AM EST! Especially if you want dinning reservations at some of the more popular restaurants such as Be our Guest at Magic Kingdom, or any Character meal. These are very popular and tend to go first! Now if you are into your 180 days when you book be prepared that you may not get everything you want when it comes to reservations. We will say this: Check back often! Make other reservations but check back to see if something you want has an unexpected opening. People change there minds all the time. You can also cancel up to 24 hours prior to a reservation without penalty. Disney’s cancellation policy is available when you go to confirm your reservation. You can be charged a $10 per person cancellation fee for canceling less than 24 hours prior to your reservation. The other option is to leave a day empty for reservations for a sit down and see what comes up the day of if you are not too picky.

Following making Dinning reservations will be your online check in at your hotel and making fast pass reservations. You are allowed to do this 60 days prior to your visit. Again for Fast pass reservations you want to be on at 7 am EST 60 days prior. This is to give you the best chance of getting some of the harder to get Fast passes. Now if you are not staying at Disney you can book fast Passes 30 days prior to your stay. After booking your fast passes you will want to check into your resort. This is when you can choose your room preferences. For example we are staying at All Star Sports this fall and our room preferences include: Surfs up Section and Ground Floor Room. You can also choose to have early check in be at the top of your list if that is more important than anything else. None of this is guaranteed though, Disney does try their best to meet what you asked if they can.  Other options that we have seen for room preferences across all the resorts are the following:

  • Ground Floor
  • Highest floor
  • Near the elevator

Each hotel does give you options for different parts of the hotel. For example if you are staying at Caribbean beach you can choose to give preference to being in one of the rooms in Jamaica, Trinidad North, Trinidad South, etc. So make sure to do some research on your hotel before this to get an idea on where about you want to stay in the resort.
When you do your online check in you will also create a hotel pin number. This is the number you will use for your magic bands when using your dining plan or making purchases using your magic band. Each person that has park tickets can choose a pin. I recommend writing down your pin/pins someplace, we forgot what we used for our pin last year and had to have it reset. If you do forget or want to change it after you have already submitted, just talk to the hotel main desk and they can help you out.

 

Next…it is time to wait for your trip! We suggest that if you didn’t get a restaurant or a Fast Pass that you wanted then to check back every now and then. You can modify your Fast Passes whenever you want and you can see what else may have become available. If you are curious on how Fast Pass + works be on the lookout for a post about Fast Pass +.

We get that was a lot of information. Questions? Feel free to message us or leave a comment. Want us to go into more detail about something we mentioned? Let us know! Want recommendations for restaurants? Let us know and we can let you know our favorites at Disney!

Until next time have a wonderful day and remember: The best is yet to come!

 

Top 5 Perks of Staying at Disney World

When we go to Walt Disney World we always stay on site. We love the vacation packages available to those who stay at the resorts and we love a lot of the perks that come with staying at Disney.

Perk 1: Free transportation from the Orlando International Airport. This may not be a big deal to everyone but for us we don’t like renting a car. Walt Disney World offers the Magical Express, a free bus service that transports you from the Orlando International Airport to your resort. We love not having to worry about a car rental or figuring out how to get to Disney. Now a big con we have heard of is that the Magical Express can take longer than actually driving to your resort and thus wise, This can be true as one bus can stop at up to four resorts. We still feel that the magical express service still as a whole with all that is offered with it does out weigh this con but that is just our opinion.

Perk 2: Being able to book our Fast Passes 60 days before our trip. When you stay on site you get to book your fast passes 60 days before your trip. When you don’t stay on site you can book 30 days before. Having the extra 30 days will help you get some of the harder to get fast passes such as Frozen Ever after, Soarin, Flight of Passage, and Navi’s river Journey. Now we will say this, we booked our fast passes right at 7 AM when you are allowed to 60 days out and we still couldn’t get Flight of Passage, with that being said though we did get Frozen and Navi’s River Journey. It does help having the extra days because you have a higher chance of getting your top choices for rides.

Perk 3: Bus transportation from the resorts to the Parks and back again. Disney has its very own internal bus system. Having the ability to wake up and go to the bus stop to catch a bus is nice. Buses run roughly every 15 to 20 minutes and in early morning we have noticed they run more often especially to Magic Kingdom. The buses also allow for you to park hop really easily. We can grab a bus at Magic Kingdom to go over to Animal Kingdom if we wanted to. The only thing the bus system doesn’t do is resort to resort. So if you wanted to go to another resort you have two options: Take a bus to a park and then switch buses to go to another resort, or call a taxi or Lyft. We have not taken either with a child but the taxi is great at the end of the night without kids to get back to the resort and costs roughly $10 to go anywhere on Disney property.  Disney is now also partnered with Lyft, and although we have not taken it ourselves, we have heard great things about Lyft. We will say though Lyft is a little higher in price at $20 per ride but you can have up to 6 people and they have car seats available upon request. For now though we will stick with the bus.

Perk 4: Magic Bands! When we stay on site you get a magic band as part of your My Disney Experience package. This has all your information on it, your fast passes, tickets, your memory maker, dining reservation, and even your dining package. You can also hook up a credit card to the band to make purchases easily. Now we don’t hook our card up on the magic band because we buy gift cards before we go to make sure we stay on budget, but for some this is a great perk, not having to carry as much into the park. There are 8 colors to choose and you can customize your bands through My Disney Experience on the Walt Disney World website. You can even add your name or a fun nickname to your band.

Perk 5: Dining Plans. Okay now we have seen a lot of negatives about the dining plan, it’s a waste of money, don’t bother, but hear us out. We love the Disney Dining Plan and there is a plan for just about every type of family, person and need. When we went on our honeymoon we splurged and got the Deluxe dinning plan, three meals either all sit down, quick service or any combination of the two, plus two snacks per night you are at the resort. I will say this it was A LOT OF FOOD. When it was the two of us though and we did Epcot we did a lot of sit down restaurants and loved every minute of it. Now the next dinning plan down from that is the Disney dining plan which includes one quick service and one sit down, plus two snacks per night you are at the resort. This is a great package as long as you are actually going to use it. We love that we can do one sit down restaurant a day and then do a quick service for another meal. They also have a quick service plan which gives you two quick service meals a day. We haven’t used this one because we do enjoy doing sit down restaurants. The other great thing about Disney Dinning plan is there are no restrictions on how many meals you can use a day. In other words, your meals and snacks are given to you first day and you have to use them by the time you leave. There is no limit that you must use x amount each day. You could use all your quick services in one day if you really want to. At the end of the day we find the dining plan gives us the freedom in our budget to eat at some of the restaurants and enjoy more expensive meals that we wouldn’t normally get if we were paying out of pocket. Just understand that tips for your waiters/ waitresses are not included in your dining plan so you still need to budget those into your expenses. If you want to look more into the dining plan here is the website from Disney itself:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/plans/#

Now these are the perks we love about staying on site. We also do love being so close to the parks that if we needed to go back to the room, especially with an infant, we are able to.

Not everyone feels the same as we do about staying on site. There are tons of blogs out there that go more in depth into the pros and cons of staying on and off site. So always do your research and consider what is best for your family.

That is all for now until next time remember: the best is yet to come!

 

An Exciting Announcement

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That is right! We have been given the wonderful opportunity to go to Walt Disney World this fall!! We are so excited and have been planning this trip like crazy over the last month. While traveling with a one year old may seem like a lot for Walt Disney World we are beyond grateful to be able to go and share our experience with everyone. While there we will be visiting all four parks, attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and experiencing the Food and Wine Festival. This will also be Alice’s first ever visit. We have some exciting posts that will be coming out as we prepare to go to take this adventure with our one year old.

Some future posts will include:

  • What’s in our bags
  • Flying tips and tricks
  • Planning your Disney Trip
  • Our plans
  • Daily experiences with what worked and didn’t work

Plus much more!
Stay tuned for our next post as we go into detail about planning for a Disney Trip. Thanks for stopping by and remember the best is yet to come!