How to Find Character Meets at Disney

How to Find Characters at Disney

Chances are if you’ve ever visited a Disney destination, then meeting your favorite Disney characters is a must. Today I’m going to discuss how to find character meets at Disney. Since Disney is always switching things up, this post won’t simply be a list of who and where to find them. This is a how to find character meets at Disney. That’s right, I’m going to share with you how to find the current meets for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani and more! Let’s get going then!

How to Find Characters at Disney

Walt Disney World

Let’s start with the biggest Disney destination, Walt Disney World. With four major theme parks, two water parks, resorts, and a giant shopping center, Walt Disney World is huge! That means there’s no shortage of character meets there.

Walt Disney World Website

When looking to find Disney character meets at Walt Disney World, the first thing you need to do is check out their website before you travel. Did you know you can even schedule fastpasses for some character meet and greets?That means if you plan to stay as an on-site guest, you’ll want to check out these options before your 60 day FastPass booking date. If you are staying off-site, make sure to book your FastPasses 30 days prior to travel.

How to Find Characters at Disney

To find character experiences available, you can simply head over to Walt Disney World’s website. To start, hover over the Things To Do tab and click on Character Experiences. This will take you to a large list of all the character-based experiences available for that day.

How to Find Characters at Disney

You’ll then need to filter the experiences to only show character experiences for which you can meet and interact with them. You’ll need to update the calendar date so that you’re looking at character experiences available for your travel dates. Once you’ve done that, you can scroll through and explore which characters are available to meet.

If you click on a specific meet experience, you can also view what times they’re available and if they are eligible to be booked as a fastpass experience. You can even click on Show In My Plans located below the available times so that you can add them directly to your itinerary! I do this for all of my clients and it’s a great way to ensure character meets won’t be forgotten once at the theme parks. But what about if you’re already at the park you ask?

My Disney Experience App

If you’re already in a park and want to see what’s available, you can use the My Disney Experience app to find them! Simply open your app and click on the map at the top. You’ll then want to click on the top filter (usually loads with wait times first). Select Characters. This will load character experiences available, but you’re not quite done. Next, you’ll want to click the filter and select the specific park you’re in so that it will load everything near you.

How to Find Characters at Disney

As you can see in my screenshot, my app is currently showing Characters experiences and has 1 filter for the Magic Kingdom. There are so many characters to meet at Magic Kingdom! But what about character dining?

Let’s talk about character dining next!

Character Dining

If you’re looking to dine with characters, then this is how it’s done! Under the Things to Do tab, select All Restaurants under Dining. This will load a list of Walt Disney World restaurants for you. Once this list is loaded, you’ll need to once again use the filter option to select Character Dining and be sure to update the calendar for your travel date. That’s it! So easy and there’s so many options to choose from! The Garden Grill, 1900 Park Fare, Ohana, and Cinderella’s Royal Table are some of our very favorite character dining locations. What’s your favorite character dining location?

How to Find Characters at Disney

But what about Disneyland for our west coast fans? Next, let’s head to Disneyland so I can tell you how to find characters at Disney land too!

Disneyland

Exciting news, as finding character experiences at Disneyland is exactly the same as Walt Disney World! Simply head over to the website, click on Things To Do, and filter by Character Experiences and your travel date. It really is that easy! What’s more, the app works the same too!! But what about international Disney parks you ask?

How to Find Characters at Disneyland

International Parks

This same search and filter method works for all the Disney parks destinations! Simply direct your browser to the Disney park website of your choice and follow the steps I’ve provided above for Walt Disney World to find characters within all the Disney parks around the world! You can find the website for all of the Disney parks here. This search method even works for guests visiting Disney’s Aulani, a resort and spa in Hawaii! Just load the Aulani page and hover over Activities to click on Character Experiences.

How to Find Characters at Disney Parks

But Meredith, you’re forgetting the Disney Cruise Line, you say. Let’s set sail next and discover how to find character meets at Disney aboard the Disney cruise ships!

Disney Cruise Line

Although this same search gameplan works mostly the same for Disney Cruise Line, there are some differences. The first and major difference is once you’re on the Disney Cruise Line website and loaded the Character Experiences page under the Our Ships tab, you’ll want to go ahead and filter the list by the specific ship you’ll be sailing on since some characters are available only on certain ships.

Disney Cruise Line Characters

The second difference is that DCL features several character meets that require tickets to be requested ahead of time. This includes meeting the Princesses, the Frozen sisters, the Star Wars and Marvel characters (for those sailing on these select themed sailings), and the Disney Junior characters. You can secure tickets for these meets once your booking window opens. It’s good to know that you must be paid in full to be able to login and book onboard activities. It’s also good to know that these experiences book fully super fast and you’ll want to be ready to book them as soon as your window opens. If you’re unable to secure tickets for a meet you’d like to experience, don’t worry! You can always head over to guest services once onboard and request tickets and in most cases, they have more available for guests at that time.

How to Find Characters at Disney

Character Dining Onboard

Disney Cruise Line features a very special meet and greet onboard called the Royal Court, Royal Tea. This exclusive tea party is an additional charge and functions more like character dining does at Disney parks. We’ve been fortunate enough to experience this (thanks Mom & Dad!) and enjoyed it very much! Not only do the princesses come out and sing, dance, and interact with guests, but they bring each child a special gift!

Disney Cruise Line also offers a Disney Junior Character Breakfast for sailing of 6 or more nights. Tickets can be obtained for free by clicking on book onboard activities once you’re logged into your account, paid in full, and your booking window is open. This is a special character breakfast that has special breakfast foods located at Animator’s Palette and features favorite Disney Junior Characters. They’ve just recently added Vampirina and Fancy Nancy to the lineup!

Moana

Additionally, you can meet exclusive characters during special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Each event has its own exclusive characters and you can find information about these character meets once you’re at the event via the printed times guide available when you enter. In some cases Disney will list exclusive characters on their website, but that’s not always the case. Checking your times guide is the best way to ensure you find all these exclusive characters. We were able to meet Moana this year at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party because she isn’t available during regular operating hours at Walt Disney World.

Now that you know how to find characters at Disney, be sure to check out these other great posts to help you prepare for your trip! You won’t want to miss our Ultimate Disney Packing List! Be sure browse our posts about Walt Disney World and Disneyland too!

Universal Studios Tickets Explained

Universal Studios Tickets

Be sure to check out this post containing all the information you’ll need to better understand Universal Studios Tickets and features. From Base tickets to Unlimited Express passes, we’re covering it all!

5 Things to Know About Hurricanes and Disney Travel

hurricane
Pandora: The World of Avatar

Traveling during the Atlantic hurricane season, typically June 1 to Nov 30, can be tricky. The odds of traveling during a major hurricane at Walt Disney World are extremely low. However, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into when planning a vacation during this time. Even more so, if you’re traveling during the season peak month of September! We have you covered though!

Closures Due to Hurricanes are Rare

hurricane

Orlando’s central location within the state of Florida makes it a much safer place to ride out a larger storm. Did you know the structures throughout Walt Disney World were designed to withstand gale force winds? It’s no wonder that since its opening in 1971, Walt Disney World has only ever closed for hurricane weather a total of 4 times!! The most recent was almost two years ago for Hurricane Irma. While a closure can be frustrating, it’s better to know that things are closed and everyone is safe.

You Can Change Your Travel Dates Without Penalty if a Hurricane Warning is Issued

According to Walt Disney World’s official hurricane policy,

“If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area—or for your place of residence—within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Magic Your Way vacation package and most room only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney.

If you have products and services provided by third-party suppliers included in your vacation—such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies or vacation insurance companies—you will continue to be responsible for any non-refundable payments, as well as cancellation or change fees assessed by those suppliers. The policy does not apply to certain special events or dining experiences.

hurricane

This policy also applies to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort or Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in the event a hurricane warning is issued for those destinations.”

Travel Insurance is Key

Whether you’re planning to travel during the hurricane season or not, travel insurance is always a good idea. One of the many things it can cover is the ever-unpredictable weather situations that can and do affect travel. It’s good to remember that each travel insurance plan is different. Your travel agent can explain more about what’s covered. Unfortunately, most insurance plans can’t be added onto a paid in full vacation package.

hurricane

Be thinking of the potential for hurricanes and whether you should select travel insurance when you first book your trip. Furthermore, most insurance plans will help cover costs associated with travel such as airfare to and from your destination. Remember: Even though Disney may reschedule your vacation without penalty, other third-party vendors that you have bookings with may not allow a reschedule. For more information on Walt Disney World’s travel insurance, click here. For more information on Disney Cruise Line’s insurance policy, click here.

Disney Has Safety Protocols In Place for Guests On-Site

Hurricane

While it’s no secret that Florida gets its fair share of hurricanes, it may be surprising to some that Walt Disney World is designed to withstand gale force winds. In the event that Orlando sees a direct, or even near-direct, hit from a hurricane, guests staying on property will be protected and even entertained! Many guests who’ve ridden out recent storms like Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma have reported that they’ve participated in games, movie marathons, and even unannounced character meet and greets within their resorts’ lobbies and food courts! Additionally, most resorts will allow guests to ride out the storm in their rooms. However, should the storm become more intense, each resort has an interior space to relocate everyone.

Disney Cruises Are Subject to Change

While Disney Cruise Line makes every effort to maintain its fleet’s schedule, safety is always paramount. Unfortunately that means that sometimes Disney has to make tough decisions. If the safety of any of Disney’s ships is in jeopardy, Disney Cruise Line assesses that risk and plans accordingly. This can often be as little as diverting around a storm or mixing up the port days during each sailing. Sometimes though, the risk is too great and Disney will make the call to cancel sailings. As of August 28th, Disney Cruise Line has posted a tropical weather update that states, “We are closely monitoring the path and progress of Hurricane Dorian to ensure our Guests enjoy safe and comfortable cruises, and to make certain our ships steer clear of the storm. The safety of our Guests and crew is always our foremost concern.

At this time, based on the current predicted storm timing and path, we do not anticipate any changes to the Disney Fantasy sailing on Saturday, Aug. 31. We are closely monitoring potential implications for the Disney Dream sailings on Friday, Aug. 30 and Monday, Sept. 2. We encourage Guests to monitor our website for updates.”

hurricane

If you are considering a trip to Walt Disney World or a Disney Cruise during hurricane season, just remember to stay prepared and flexible. Safety is the most important thing! Stay weather prepared and keep an eye on Disney’s official sites for the latest information. Additionally, for more information on rainy days at Disney, be sure to check out our other blog post here.

How to Handle Grief on a Disney Vacation

Have you ever been on a magical vacation and received not so great news? Did you receive bad news before said vacation and decide to travel anyway? It happens more often than we think. This is a personal story from our very own Meredith about her real life situation. Read her take on how she handles grief on a Disney vacation.

How to Handle Grief on a Disney Vacation

To begin, I never set out to write this as a blog post. I just needed to edit my travel photos from a year ago and couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just sat down, and something compelled me to login here and write. You see, most of what we write here on The Mouse and the Monorail is informational or instructional in some way because we love to help you all get the most out of your Disney vacations.

However, this post is going to be different. Let’s talk about something entirely different. Let’s break the blog post mold today. Don’t worry, it’ll be okay. Buckle up, this may be a bit heavy both with subject matter and number of photos. You’ve been warned.

grief

Grief is Part of Life

We’ve all heard of the story of little Lane Graves and how a family vacation changed that family forever. Just the other day I read of another family who had a Make A Wish trip and lost their sweet little girl on their day at Walt Disney World. How magical and incredibly sad all at once! My heart goes out to all those who’ve experienced some sort of loss while vacationing.Sidenote: Did you know they’ve erected a memorial for Lane? Note to self: visit at the Grand Floridian next time I’m there.

Okay, so it’s not what you were expecting on a happy and fun blog about all things Disney, right? The thing is, though, life still happens regardless of when and where you are. It often happens in the moments you weren’t expecting. While many people see Disney parks as the happiest and most magical places on earth, there are many others out there who have experienced sadness there as well. Here I am trying my best to not cry with one of my favorite Princesses, Tiana.

Unexpected News on a Disney Vacation

My experience is a little more drawn out than most. You see, it all started last summer when Sarah, Amy, and I decided we’d like to plan a Mouse and Monorail squad trip to Walt Disney World. It coincided with training Amy and I were doing and was a perfect time to have fun on a ladies only getaway. I couldn’t wait to go and come back to share all the wonderful things we got to experience. We were going to report on how amazing it is to travel sans kids. We were going to cover Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and talk about experiencing a passholder preview. I even happily snapped photos of the poinsettias and giant Christmas tree Disney had on display as they were my grandmother’s favorites during Christmastime.

It’s Not Always Magical

But then, like a Disney villain coming to pop our overpriced Mickey balloons on Main Street, life came knocking. Three out of the seven of us got calls during that week that our grandmothers weren’t doing well. Sarah and Jennifer are cousins, and I’m glad they had each other when finding out their news. My call came later in the week, during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. How am I supposed to enjoy myself here at the Magic Kingdom and celebrate Christmas when my elderly grandmother is being admitted to the hospital?

Coping with Grief on Vacation

I managed. That’s the short version of the story. In my own head though? I was a mess! The party was still nice and I would definitely attend it again. I was glad, though, that we were heading home the next day. Things didn’t get better for my grandmother, and she remained in the hospital before passing away on November 19, 2017. We attended the November 9th party and she was gone in ten days. Everything stopped for me. That’s it, I thought. No more grandparents left. It’s a hard pill to swallow if you’ve lived to be 36 years old with at least one living grandparent. Unfortunately, Sarah and Jennifer were in for a similar fate as they too lost their grandmother in the coming days.

The Magic of Friendship

What I didn’t expect out of this trip was that I found a group of ladies that were there for me at just the right time. I couldn’t have asked for better women to be surrounded by during this time, even after we were back at home in various parts of the country. Not only had we all met in a single location and enjoyed a wonderful trip, we had gained true friends. To my squad ladies specifically, you will never know how much your kind words meant and still mean to me. I’m forever grateful.

Meredith’s Background

As an aside, before setting out to become a Disney blogger and travel agent, I was a photographer specializing in portraiture, but loved photographing anything and everything. I even went crazy one year and completed a full 365 day photo blog project with a friend. I still love photography and very much enjoy photographing my travels and experiences. I’ll be sharing more over our on Instagram account if you’d like to follow along.

Animal Kingdom is going to have an INCREDIBLE summer!Usually returning home from Disney means time to have fun editing all the photos. This time, however, I just couldn’t bring myself to even look at how happy I was. I didn’t want to revisit it because I knew it would stir emotions in me. I didn’t want to revisit the sadness. Even if I did get them edited, I didn’t want to share them because it would look like I was happy to everyone when, really, I was hurting. Insert more life stuff happening and it soon became a matter of time as well. I had so many things going on, I just couldn’t squeeze it in.

Sailing Away with Disney Cruise Line

Fast forward to April, and I set sail with my family and extended families (both sides!) on the Disney Fantasy. We enjoyed the Western Caribbean itinerary and loved our Star Wars Day at Sea.Upon returning home, it was back to normal life. I was already so far behind with editing the squad trip photos that I didn’t edit the cruise photos either. Don’t get me wrong, I shared some. The cruise was a much needed break from reality and was a wonderful way to have my own moment to say goodbye to my grandmother. She was fortunate enough to be able to sail with us in 2016 and made our Castaway Cay day quite memorable.

It was bittersweet for me revisiting Disney’s magical island. I cried on my own and had a moment to reflect on all that we were able to do with her. I also grieved the fact that my uncle wasn’t with us. He passed before we set sail and making the phone call to remove him from the reservation was rough! That said, I’m so grateful to have had that cruise with my family, including my Aunt who still came along with us despite her loss.

What’s So Special About Disney Anyway?

Traveling with loved ones is something that I hope all of you are fortunate enough to experience. For a long time, I didn’t want to edit the photos because I didn’t want to feel those emotions again. In short, I didn’t want to end up crying at my desk. Last night, I sat down and began to finally cull through the thousands of photos I shot. What I found was all the joy I felt while experiencing it all. It’s okay to be happy in the moment! What’s more is that it’s okay to be happy remembering those happy moments too!To those who say to “put your phones down and just enjoy the moment” are oversimplifying things. While I agree we should live in the moment with those that we’re with, we should also take care to capture the moments we don’t ever want to forget. If that means having the phone up because it’s also conveniently a camera, then so be it! Record and capture it all! I promise you’ll want to look back on that experience one day.

grief

After editing a half days’ worth of photos and enjoying all that we did just on the first day, I took a break. I began to browse through the past vacations we’ve taken through the years. My grandmother went with us on many of those trips and I’m so thankful we were able to experience those moments with her. I’ll always cherish this photo of her and my oldest daughter enjoying the soon to be extinct Illuminations show at Epcot. There are many more of her enjoying all that Disney had to offer back then. Each one of them a snippet of time that I hold I precious. 

Why We Go Back to Disney

Many people ask why we love to go back to Disney time and time again. It’s so absurd to them to be the first in line at rope drop only to wait hours and hours for a ride later. Why on earth would we want to go see the same show over and over again? That’s okay though. I get it. Disney is not for everybody.Revisiting Disney destinations time and time again means holding on to the magic with your loved ones for as long as you can. It means squeezing every bit of baby, toddler, preschooler, elementary school, middle, high school, college, and every moment in between with our babies. It also means being able to reflect on past visits with those that are no longer with us. Somehow, it allows us to enjoy the current visit knowing that they’re there with you in your heart because you’re been there together before. We go back to hold those memories precious and near to our hearts. My grandmother had the most wonderful times at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Dream with us and those times will be near and dear to our hearts always.

It’s always going to be a bit sad, but we can make the best of those moments too! So next time I’m revisiting Disney without my Grandmother, I’ll be looking for all the little things she used to love and point out. Her favorite were always the flowers, and every time I snap another flower photo at Disney, I’ll have her with me. I’ll choose to let it make me happy to remember her and have her with me in that way. We carry our loved ones with us always and Disney can help us recall some of the happiest times together. I will always cherish the moments I’m able to travel with my loved ones! ~Meredith º0º

Star Wars Books

Star Wars Land Construction

Star Wars Books

We love Star Wars! My family just sailed on the Disney Cruise Line for a fantastic Star Wars Day at Sea. We had so much fun! Be sure to check out all the great info we’ve got on these specialty sailings over on our podcast here.

Star Wars Day at Sea

May the 4th be with you!

Unless you’ve somehow escaped the Star Wars fandom over the last 41 years, you’ve heard the phrase “May the force be with you” a time or two. Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s always no time like the present to dive right in! But before we get to Star Wars Books, let’s talk about Star Wars.

For Non-Fans

There are lots of ways to jump into the Star Wars fandom. The first and most obvious way is by watching the movies. While I could talk your head off for hours about the movies and which way to first consume them, I’ll save you the time. Just watch them all! Next up, tv shows!

Star Wars Land Construction

If you’d like to get into some of the newer Star Wars stories, then don’t miss their animated series. Star Wars Clone Wars, Rebels and the newly announced Star Wars Resistance, are all great ways to explore more of the Star Wars universe. I especially love the characters we’ve met through these series and I’ll get to those soon!

Disney Archives

For Star Wars Fans

Whether you’re properly caught up on the Star Wars world from my above tips or just came here for the book list, let’s do it! But first, some background information for you. Upon acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney announced that Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels should be considered canon. That means that most series and comics etc produced before April 24, 2014 are no longer canon. That’s what I’m going to stick with today. I’m sure there are many awesome Star Wars books out there that predate 4/24/14, but we’ll just leave those be for now.

My Favorite Star Wars Books

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor

This book is extensive! This is a great read for anyone wishing to know all those extra little details. More so than some of the actual canon Star Wars books I’m about to mention, this book is for those true Star Wars fans. Even if you think you know it all, you’ll most assuredly learn something new reading this comprehensive look at the most enduring space opera in history!

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Like the book above, this book is for those true fans. More specifically, Leia or Carrie Fisher fans. I very much enjoyed the audiobook version of this book as Carrie does much of the narration, with journal entries read by her daughter Billie Lourd. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like for Carrie to go from being “Debbie Reynolds’ daughter” to the most recognized princess in the galaxy, then this book is for you!

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

This young adult novel is the first book I read featuring a character from the animated series. Ahsoka Tano was a favorite of mine since the moment her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker, first met her. She’s been featured both throughout the Clone Wars series, as well as in Star Wars Rebels. It’s yet to be determined if we’ll see her in Star Wars Resistance, but one thing’s for sure. If you’re looking for more Ahsoka, this is the place to go! Fun fact: this audiobook is great as well! Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka on the animated series, narrates this novel as well. It even features sound effects! Pew! Pew pew pew!

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

If you’re looking for an interesting look at a very methodical and calculating villain, then look no further! If you’re familiar with the ghost crew’s thorn in their side, then you know Thrawn is always playing the long-game. But how in the galaxy did he end up with the Empire? This story will delve into more obscure Star Wars lore including languages and species. This book definitely had me thinking differently about the Empire. Oh, and it too has a fantastic audiobook!

From A Certain Point Of View by Various Authors

This book is perfect for the more casual fan looking for snippets of story within the movies’ stories we all know and love. Rather than being a full-length novel, this book of short stories delves into the moments that we all know in a new and exciting way. If you’ve ever wondered what Princess Leia was looking at as she begged for Obi Wan’s help by way of Artoo, then don’t miss this one! There are so many fun stories in this book! It’s also perfect for someone looking for something short to read here and there.

It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein

I’m so excited to share about this one! I was fortunate enough to meet the author, Ashley Eckstein, on my recent Star Wars Day at Sea cruise. Being the third person in line for the autograph signing, I actually got to see her mention that that moment was the first time she had even seen them printed! So exciting!! (I just stood there probably gaping because I just popped in and bought it no big deal a few minutes prior). She was such a sweet person to meet too.

autograph

Already this book has me aspiring to do anything and everything I can dream up! While Ashley is known for her Star Wars fame, she grew up with Cast Member parents. Being a Disney kid is something she talks about and she definitely makes it all seem magical. What’s even more is that she has the power to make us all believe that too! The book is in collaboration with Disney and is set to be released on May 8, 2018. You can preorder your copy here.

 

That’s a wrap folks. Want some more fun Disney Book recommendations? Be sure to check out my summer reading 101! And while you’re at it, don’t miss all our Star Wars fun here on our blog!

 

Until next time, May the 4th Be With You! ~Meredith

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie!

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie. Can you believe that?!

Disney A Wrinkle in Time Barbie

These dolls are gorgeous and with the release of A Wrinkle in Time in theaters today, I’m sure these dolls will sell really well.

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie

As part of the Disney A Wrinkle in Time Barbie doll collection, this set features the Mrs’ from the movie. Featuring the likenesses of Oprah as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, these dolls are now available on the Barbie website.

 

The Mrs’

A Wrinkle in Time BarbieA Wrinkle in Time Barbie

Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who are now available for $50 each.

Mrs. Which is available for pre-order and will be priced the same. Bummer that while purchasing the set will save you some extra cash, this set is already on backorder!

 

So go check out these gorgeous dolls (much better than the Belle fiasco haha!) and then be sure to check out A Wrinkle in Time, in theaters today! Hot tip: if you link your Movies Anywhere account to your Disney Movie Reward account, you can automatically earn points for theater tickets you purchase with your Fandango account!

Which is your favorite Mrs?

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie
*All photos from the official Barbie website

 

 

p.s. While you’re over on Barbie’s website, be sure to check out their Inspiring Women Series! As part of their Role Models series, they’ve even got fun printables! (Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see Activity Pages on the right side) ~Meredith ºoº

DIY Glow Ears

diy glow ears

diy glow ears

DIY Glow Ears

Today I’ve got a simple and easy DIY for you! Although this one’s great for the Mickey’s Halloween parties, they’ll also be great for trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood. What makes this DIY glow Ears project so fantastic you ask? This diy is super easy and is great for anyone going to the parks year-round! Save big bucks on glowing Mickey ears and make these simple, re-useable glow ears instead!diy glow ears

Gather Supplies

•Headband
•Glow Stick Bracelets (2)
•Glow Stick Bracelet Connectors (2)
•Glue Gun
•Glow-in-the-dark Glue Sticks
•Tulip Glow-in-the-dark Paint

Assemble

Start by cutting the little bracelet connector piece in two and gluing the piece to the headband with the glow-in-the-dark glue sticks. There’s no exact science to this so don’t stress about the precise location of each one. This is supposed to be fun!diy glow earsStart with the top piece and once it has cooled, place the glow stick into that connector and curl it down to decide where the bottom connector piece should go. Mark the spot with a little dab of glue. Then proceed to glue that piece down. Pro tip: make a ring of glue around the entire headband so that the glue holding the connector piece won’t be pulled off once you place the glowstick. Repeat with both on the other side.diy glow ears

Make It Really Glow

By now, the headband has two ears that can be replaced with new glow sticks nightly. No need to make multiple headbands!! Just toss them nightly and get a fresh glow stick the next evening.diy glow earsWho wants to stop at just glow sticks though?! Starting at the base of the headband, run a line of glow glue around the edges of the headband. Repeat on the opposite side. This is also where you can use the hot end of your glue gun to help shape the already-cooled glue on the headband both around the connector pieces as well as under the headband (where the headband will sit against your head). Smooth it to your liking and you’re done! Or not…

Add Hidden Mickeys

If you’re a true Disney parks fan, you’ll want to add some hidden Mickeys too! Using the fine tip of a tulip glow-in-the-dark fabric paint bottle, squirt one larger and two smaller circles in the shape of Mickey on the top of the headband. For the next Mickey, turn it in the opposite direction and continue the pattern across the entire top portion of the headband.diy glow ears

Show It Off

Now that you’ve got some spiffy new diy glow ears, be sure to get out and show them off!! Mickey’s Halloween party at Disneyland and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties would be fantastic for this! Here’s all our spooky fun!Don't buy your Mickey Ears, make them! We've got a simple tutorial that shows you how. These DIY Glow Ears are so easy to make, and they're cute. Make yours before your next Disney vacation!

These fun and simple ears will also look amazing in any park areas that feature black lights (think dark rides and Pandora) since the glow glue reacts really well with black lights! Be sure to share a photo of your diy glow ears on one of our socials if you decide to make some!  ~Meredith °o°

How to Combine Disney Gift Cards

gift card

Disney gift cards are incredible gifts for Disney fans. They can be used to pay for just about anything Disney you can think of! What happens when you get a ton of cards? If you’ve heard about the “Target Red Card” hack that allows you to save 5% off of the price of Disney gift cards, you’ve probably wondered how it works. Is it really advantageous? Does it really save money? We think it does! This hack is a great way to save, but how do you handle all those gift cards lying around? Read on for our best tips for how to combine Disney gift cards!Disney gift cards are great gifts! But what do you do when you have a ton of them? Read our best tips for combining Disney gift cards and help yourself stay organized!

How to Combine Disney Gift Cards

Remove cards from the packaging carefully and be sure to leave the sticky part still attached to the plastic gift card. This will allow you to attach all the cards together and keep them from getting mixed up.gift card

Number the Cards

Number each card with a sharpie. This is crucial because it will help you keep track of which card is which once you enter them into your account online. If you don’t, you could get very confused later about which cards you have and haven’t entered yet. This is especially helpful when entering enough cards for thousands of dollars since many people choose to use gift cards for vacation payments.gift card

Don’t Scratch Them!

Don’t scratch to reveal the security code on the back!! The little area that’s meant to be scratched is actually a little sticker and can be pulled up altogether. Removing the sticker will save you loads of time and will keep you nice and clean. Nobody likes the mess left from lots of scratch-off cards!

Arrange Together

Use the sticky part to arrange the cards on top of each other with the bottom of the top card aligned directly above the bottom card’s number info. This will help you when glancing down to enter the numbers because the bottom of the card above will always be there to guide your eye. You can just barely see the sticky glue left on the card in the “don’t scratch” photo above. It naturally lines up perfectly to stick the cards to each other.

Login

Direct your browser to www.disneygiftcard.com and login with your existing account. No need to make a separate Disney account for this! Simply login using the same credentials you use for you My Disney Experience account.gift card

Enter the Information

Enter each card in separately and in number order. The website requires you to give each card a nickname. Use the number of the card as the card nickname so that you can always keep them organized.

Designate Primary Card

Designate one of your cards as the primary card. KEEP THIS CARD SAFE! This is the card that you’ll use to transfer funds to and make payments with. It’s good to keep in mind that each card will only hold up to $1000 and your account is only allowed 5 cards at any given time. This means that if you’re planning on using them to pay for your Disney vacation, you will likely have to designate more than one card as a primary card, so be sure to label them the same both on the physical card as well as the website nickname for that card.

Transfer Funds to Primary Card

Transfer funds from each card you enter over to your primary card. Don’t delete the empty card until you have entered in the next numbered card so that if you need to stop unexpectedly and finish later, you’ll know exactly where you left off. Example: I enter card #1 and designate it as primary. Then I’ll enter #2 and #3 and transfer their funds to the primary card. Now I can delete card #2 and leave the empty card #3 in the account until I’ve entered in card #4’s info. That way I’ll always know what number to start with if I have to come back to it.

gift card

Don’t Throw Cards Away

Retain all your primary cards you use to pay for things until after your trip! I can’t stress this one enough. Any time Disney has to issue a refund, the funds will always go back to the original payment method. That means if you pay with Disney gift cards, you’ll be refunded on those same Disney gift cards. Recently, guests who had to reschedule or had cruise sailings canceled because of hurricane Irma learned first-hand how refunds work. Though a hurricane is an extreme case for a possible refund example, you just don’t know what can happen and it’s better to keep your primary cards safe.gift card

Make Life Easier

Use a travel agent and have them do all this work for you, for free!!! Along with free vacation planning when you book with a travel agent, you’ll also get extra perks like this! Most travel agents will be happy to combine your cards for you. Save yourself the trouble and support one of your favorite Disney travel planners!

Thats all for today’s gift card tips. Have you got a great gift card tip? Please share with us!  ~Meredith °o°

Tips for Disney’s Pandora: The World of Avatar

Tips for Pandora: The World of Avatar

Tips for visiting Pandora : The World of Avatar

Meredith

Be Patient

Pandora is new, as it just opened on May 27th. This one is most important to remember because everyone wants to see and do it all too. There’s no need to be rude to other guests just because you’re having to wait. This should go without saying, but everyone has paid to be there and no one is more special than the other. You’ll all get a turn soon enough! This extends to Cast Members too because they’re working hard to make it an unforgettable experience for you. Sit back and enjoy knowing that it may take a little longer if you’re one of the first humans to visit Pandora.

Meredith

Do Not Miss Flight of Passage

Queue up for this attraction as early as possible so that you can experience the wait queue at least once. The fastpass queue doesn’t have any of the fun theming that the standby queue has and it’s worth the wait at least once. The standby queue is the only time you’ll get to see the Pandoran caves with wildlife and all of the experiments that the Pandoran Conservation Initiative scientists have ongoing. This includes everything from water samples and small creatures to the full-size and very life-like floating avatar in its liquid-filled chamber. This is also the only time you’ll be able to see the giant wall that has the mural of the flying banshee and the life-size silhouettes of a Na’vi male and female. 

ikran

Then gear up for a most fantastical journey into Pandora on the back of your very own banshee after being paired with an avatar and linked in the link chairs. It’s also good to know that some Pooh-sized guests may have a bit of trouble boarding the ride since the back and leg braces flip up to engage. Be sure to scoot as far forward as possible and sit straight up. You’ll also want to push your knees forward and stay on your tip-toes until the ride harnesses engage in case you have long legs or large calves. Then hold on tight for one of the most thrilling and amazing rides Disney has ever imagineered! This ride is breathtaking, well except for when you’re taking in all the smells that Pandora has to offer too. This ride cannot be skipped!

Meredith

Use Extra Magic Hours

Extra magic hours are a perk of staying in a Disney resort and can help you experience the parks without the massive crowds. Check the app the night before your park days to see which parks and hours have this special perk so you can plan accordingly. Some magic hours occur in the morning, so you’ll need to be prepared the night before. Additionally, some magic hours happen at night and nighttime magic hours in Animal Kingdom will allow you to travel back to Pandora so you can experience its glowing beauty. 

fastpass

Schedule FastPasses ASAP

Scheduling early is a huge perk for guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort and this one is huge. If you’d like a fastpass for either ride, scheduling your fastpass at 60 days out the second they become available is crucial. And it’s good to know that the Pandora rides are now part of a tiered Animal Kingdom fastpass+ system, so you’ll have to choose one or the other. Both wait queues have outdoor areas and that means waiting in the sun, so a fastpass is like having a VIP status! Just remember that only guests staying in a WDW resort can schedule fastpasses 60 days in advance. If you’re staying off-property or are an annual passholder, the earliest you can schedule a fastpass is 30 days out. It pays to stay on property!

avatar

Stop and Look

The Na’vi have a phrase oel ngati kameie” meaning “I see you” and you won’t want to miss seeing and actually taking in all of its beauty. You’ll especially want to take your time and look if you’re waiting in line for either of Pandora’s feature attractions. The world is beautifully themed throughout and there are many little nooks where you can rest or just relax in a bit of shade. You can even find plants to drum on!

Pandora

If you’re lucky, or smart because you checked your times guide for the day, you can watch an authentic Pandoran drum circle in front of the Mountains! You can watch my the live feed I provided on opening day over on our facebook page. Travel back to Pandora (or just stay til the sun sets) to experience all of Pandora’s nighttime wonder. The star of Pandora’s nighttime magic is its “syuratan” or bioluminescence. You’ll be surprised that you may even glow too!! 

Meredith

Make use of Memory Maker

This should go without saying if you’ve ever used Disney’s Memory Maker. If you’re not sure what Memory Maker is, be sure to read this post. Like most lands at Walt Disney World, Pandora also has several photopass locations where you can get an epic photo with the floating mountains or even have your photo taken as an official Visitor to Pandora! There’s several locations and you can find these stops in your app. Simply open up your My Disney Experience app and slide the selection over to PhotoPass to see all the locations.

Meredith

Order Food Via App

This is another big one! With the opening of Pandora and its dining option, Satu’li Canteen, Disney has begun implementing its first use of a mobile food order feature. By ordering food via the app, you’ll save loads of time and give your feet a break from standing in yet another wait line. Not to mention, you’ll feel like a VIP as you stroll past the wait line straight to the counter to pick up your food. You can order from the app under the “My Plans” section. And once it’s ready, it’ll give you a push notification to let you know that your food is waiting for you. 

Meredith

Be sure your app is updated to the most current version to access this feature. It’s also good to know that if you have a card saved for all your incidentals (dining reservations etc), your app will automatically process the payment from that card. So if you plan to order from the app, be sure to have a card on file to save yourself time while in the park inputting card information. It’s also good to know that mobile order pickup will allow you entry into the canteen even if there’s a cast member outside keeping track of guest numbers inside. Just show them your “Order Ready” screen and they’ll show you where to go!

Meredith

Visit Windtraders Early 

The grand opening day of Pandora brought wait times in excess of three hours just to gain access to the Pandoran store! And be sure to queue up for the adopt a banshee at the rookery while there! Adopting a banshee has been super popular, so again be patient if you’re in a longer than expected line.

Meredith Meredith

You can also have yourself scanned and your DNA combined with that of a Na’vi to create your very own Avatar! This experience however, takes time and you will need to revisit Windtraders around an hour later to pick up your avatar.

Meredith

It’s good to know that your card (they give you when you sign up) will allow you entrance back into the store even if there’s a wait line. Simply go to the door and let the cast member know you’re back to pick up your avatar. You may get some dirty looks from those waiting in line to go in, but you won’t have to wait to actually go in again. 

Meredith

More than Just Rides and Food

Disney has gone above and beyond to create a world that seamlessly fits within the Animal Kingdom’s nature-based story. And Pandora: The World of Avatar helps to further push us to see our own beautiful Earth in new ways. Personally, our ride aboard the Kilimanjaro Safaris, after experiencing Pandora, had me more closely examining the plant life that surrounds each habitat’s wildlife. How amazing our own world is!

Meredith

The food had me questioning what exactly should alien food look like?! And would our own everyday foods seem alien to the Omiticaya people or other alien beings? Additionally, you don’t have to have seen or liked the Avatar movie to appreciate this new land. My kids loved Pandora and have never seen the movie. They actually came home and used their own money to purchase the movie so they could see the movie based on their unique experience. This new land is more than a couple of rides and some weird food; It’s an experience that leaves you “newomum nì’ul,”  wanting to know more!

Extra Tips for those with Special Accommodations:

Make Use of Rider Swap

If you’ve got a child that isn’t tall enough or just doesn’t want to ride, you can make use of Disney’s rider swap which allows one parent to stay behind with a child(ren) while the other parents waits in the standby line. The cast members will give the first parent a rider swap return fastpass and once that first parent completes their ride, the second is able to go back through the fastpass line. Best yet, that second parent can be accompanied by two other people, so your other kids have the opportunity to ride twice by waiting in the standby line with the first parent and then again in the fastpass line with the second parent!

Meredith

Make Use of Disability Access Service

If you or a member of your travel party has a disability,  be sure to stop by guest services at the beginning of your stay to receive your disability access service card, or DAS for short. This card will allow you to avoid waiting in the actual queue  while still waiting the standby wait time. Simply see a cast member at the fastpass entrance to any attraction and tell them you’d like to get a DAS wait time and they’ll give you a time to come back and ride. This is especially beneficial as some of the wait queues can be difficult to navigate with a wheelchair or ECV. And not waiting in the line for Flight of Passage will allow you more time to explore Pandora while you wait for your ride time. 

If you’d like to find out more about the world of Avatar, be sure to check out the official Disney website here.

Handicap Accessible Stateroom Review

handicap accessible

Meredith here, checking in to give you the lowdown on what it’s like to stay in a Disney Cruise Line’s handicap accessible stateroom.

Disney Cruise Line has great staterooms, but what if you need a special one? We've stayed in a handicap accessible stateroom onboard Disney Cruise Line and enjoyed the experience. Check out our review before you plan your next trip!


First things first, I sailed with my family on the Dream and boy was it! Disney cruise line is a great choice for families to looking to get out and explore the world while enjoying not only the wonderful Disney characters we’ve come to know and love, but the amazing customer service they provide. It’s great for all ages! And while some may be skeptical, it’s actually fantastic for those requiring handicap accessible accommodations as well!


Meredith


My grandmother, who uses a power chair as she can no longer walk, sailed with us and she had the most wonderful time! For someone who had never even left the country before, this was a HUGE trip her her. I’m pretty sure her favorite part was getting to know and appreciate how amazing the wait staffs are aboard DCL. She loved our servers, and so did we!

Because she was sailing with us, we knew we’d need a handicap accessible room. If you’re unsure how to begin researching and pricing out your own trip to include handicap accessible accommodations, try contacting a Disney travel planner. They’ll be able to help assist you with everything you’ll need.


For those who want to go ahead and check out the staterooms and what they offer, let’s get to it then!

Handicap Accessible Stateroom

Disney Dream Stateroom 6088- The Room itself

Stateroom 6088 is located on the 6th deck port side, midship. It’s very close and convenient to the elevators.

handicap accessible

Although I didn’t stay in the handicap accessible stateroom with my grandmother, the room is much larger than most of the staterooms. And we often found ourselves using the room as a meeting place. We had a group of 10 and though some of us sat on the floor, there was plenty of space for all of us.

Your Key to the World card opens the door and it closes on its own after you enter. To exit, all you need to do is hit the button and the door opens for you. The doorways themselves were nice and smooth and she didn’t have trouble getting around through doorways, and even out onto the verandah where her scooter fit comfortably. She loved the verandah!

The Bathroom

The bathroom is fantastic. Unlike most of the staterooms aboard the Dream which feature a split bath design, 6088’s bathroom is a single room. It’s very open and has plenty of space to move around . It’s also got handlebars for support around both the toilet area as well as the shower. The floor is completely tiled and the shower stall actually has drains flush with the floor surrounding it to minimize the amount of water collecting on the rest of the bathroom floor. You can see this on the floor in the bottom photo. There’s a seat for the shower that folds down and the shower head is hand-held.

The Closet

The closet features plenty of storage including a rack with a handle that allows you to pull it down to your level!

And Mom only had one complaint about the entire cruise. My Grandmother preferred to keep her things in her suitcase. She said that the stateroom host would clean and then place the suitcase under the bed. My grandmother couldn’t get to it easily and my Mom had to continually retrieve it for her. However, if she had only left a note to their stateroom host, I’m most positive he would’ve been happy to accommodate them. Likewise, if there’s something you need, don’t hesitate to ask or leave a note! Disney Cruise Line has some of the most amazing people you will ever meet working for them and are always so helpful. Just ask!


The overall experience was fantastic! So if you’re considering a cruise but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, then don’t worry!! Disney has you covered! ~Meredith ºoº


P.S. They even have free to use wheelchairs made to go in the sand on Castaway Cay! More on that later over on Instagram. Be sure to come follow me so you won’t miss out!

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Guest Post: Moana Soundtrack Music Review

It’s time for a new guest post and I’m excited to say that my husband and blogger over on his own music review blog is today’s guest! If you’ve been listening to our podcast, then you’re probably aware that I really enjoyed the Moana soundtrack. I realize that’s not saying much as I love lots of Disney music, but this album in particular is beautiful for so many reasons. And I’m happy to have Tim share his review as he is able to express with words much better than I can the many reasons why this soundtrack is destined to be a classic Disney soundtrack. Take it away Tim!

Welcome, welcome. Let’s start this post off with a little introduction. I’m Tim Cooper, Meredith’s other half. I am a software developer by day and music appreciator, father and amateur handyman by night. I run a blog over at Bearded Music Reviews, where I review albums on a weekly basis and then compile it all at year’s end to create a Top Albums of the Year list.

Meredith asked if I would write a post about the Moana soundtrack, so here we are. I did review the deluxe version, just to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing. I did give this album five full listens, two of which came back to back. On top of that, I have three kids so I’ve listened to handfuls of these tracks many, many times.

This is the soundtrack to the newest Disney movie, Moana. The music was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. Miranda is coming off his award winning run as writer and performer in Hamilton on Broadway and if you haven’t listened to the soundtrack to that by now, please do so. And just recently released, he has signed on as Executive Producer for the Kingkiller Chronicles, excitement level 100! Opetaia has been writing Pacific flavored music with his group Te Vaka since the mid 90’s. Mark Mancina has worked on many soundtracks from The Lion King and Con Air to Speed and Tarzan.

The deluxe version of this soundtrack breaks into three sections: songs from the movie, score, and demos and outtakes. The first section contains all of the lyrical songs that appear throughout the movie, most of which were written by Miranda and Foa’i. These songs have some really strong melodies and their instrumental backing has a nice touch of Pacific sounds. I found that all the tribal drumming and choral voices really tie the music to its location and pull you deeper into the film. And all of the performers from the movie do a really great job of bringing these songs to life. The songs flow well and do a great job of telling the story. This first section ends with the two pop versions of How Far I’ll Go and You’re Welcome by Alessia Cara and Jordan Fisher/Miranda respectively.

This movie captured some really catchy songs. If you’ve heard them enough times, it is hard not to sing (or at least hum) along. Miranda has a real talent for telling stories in his lyrics that I just can’t get enough of. His work on Hamilton, with its base in Hip-Hop, paid off here as he can pack a lot of story elements into one song. Furthermore, he doesn’t force a song to rhyme A to B, crafting some really memorable rhyme schemes. This has a slight trade off though, as all the words can make the songs harder to sing on first listen. I found that if you put in the time, they are just as catchy though and are much more fun to sing.

The second section also does a great job of taking you through the movie. I’m reminded of scenes and emotions that arose while I watched the movie. Again, they did a great job of coming up with solid melodies in these tunes. They bring them back throughout, as any good soundtrack should, and their attachment to the characters and themes brings you deeper into the movie. I get a bit of a Peter and the Wolf feel from this soundtrack, where certain sounds and melodies are attached to characters. So when I hear the airy, almost wind chime sounds, I know that Moana’s Grandmother is the focus. There are some majestic moments balanced well with the wayfaring tunes that have a softness to them that was nice to hear.

The deluxe version rounds out with some demos and outtakes. The outtakes were nice to hear and there was one that was so strong (More), I’m surprised it didn’t make it into the movie.

The demos for the songs might have been my favorite portion as it allowed a little peak behind the curtain. Hearing the demo for Shiny, you get a touch of a David Bowie sound in Miranda’s voice. But then listening to the movie version, performed by Jemaine Clement (from The Flight of the Conchords fame), you hear how much more he brought to the performance. And I do have to disagree with the ladies on this one. If you haven’t listened to their podcast on Moana, please go do that, I’ll wait.

podcast

Lots of homework on this post, I know, but if you aren’t listening to their podcast, you should make that a part of your week as they can be a real treat. Unfortunately, on the podcast they said they didn’t really enjoy Shiny. Most of the movie takes place in the sunny atmosphere of the Pacific and when they travel to Lalotai, the Realm of Monsters, the movie needed a sonic shift, which this song brought. You get the skeletal marimba sounds and the slow lurching bass, I mean, when I hear it, I’m right back with Tamatoa. 

moana soundtrack

The more I listen to this album the more of the tiny elements peek out of the compositions, you get a grunt here that really ties the song together or that pulling bass line that comes in after the hook joke in Shiny. It really seemed like everyone brought their A-game to this music/soundtrack and I think it really paid off. I’ve already heard many of these songs hundreds of times (again, I do have three young kids that love this album) and probably will hear them many many more. And thankfully, they are solid songs that don’t get old (at least not yet).

I hoped you enjoyed my guest post. Thanks to The Mouse and the Monorail for having me. If you did, please check out my blog Bearded Music Reviews. Hopefully you’ll find your new favorite album. I’ll even give you a sneak peek at my not-yet-released Top Albums list for 2016. Spoiler: The Moana Soundtrack lands at #44 out of 61!

Thanks Tim and I agree with so many of your assessments, especially the bits about Shiny and More. Can’t wait to have you back to review more Disney music!

If you’d like to hear the entire Moana soundtrack, it’s available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon as well as in most stores. If streaming is more your style, then you can find the deluxe version on Spotify (my preferred choice) or visit the DisneyMusicVevo YouTube channel. They have the complete soundtrack including select songs with the video too! (That’s where the above videos came from). You can even test out your karaoke skills with karaoke versions of How Far I’ll Go and You’re Welcome! What did you think of the Moana soundtrack? ~Meredith ºoº

More ways to enjoy the Mouse and Monorail

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Turkey Leg Treats

Turkey leg treats are fun to make and eat.

Turkey Leg Treats

Turkey leg

Need a last minute treat to make for Thanksgiving? Or maybe you just need something cute for a Disney party you’re planning? Either way, I’ve got the perfect treat for you! I can’t even begin to say how amazingly easy and cute these little turkey leg treats are. It all started when I was browsing facebook a few weeks back and noticed a video detailing how to make them thought, “hey, I could actually make those!” And not only were they easy to make,  they’re PERFECT for those who may not like turkey this Thanksgiving! If you can make rice krispy treats and dip pretzels in chocolate, then you can totally make these!

Turkey leg

How to Make Your Own Turkey Leg Treats

I used  smaller pretzels and made mini legs since they’re better portioned for my kids, but the larger pretzels and legs would be perfect for recreating those giant Disney parks turkey legs we all know and love. You can make your own treats too by checking out this video from Southern Living. I’d definitely suggest keeping your hands coated in butter or cooking spray if you don’t want to get frustrated. And to make them even more Disney-like, you could make some chocolate-dipped rice krispy Mickey pops to go with them! The sky’s the limit so be creative and have fun!!

Check out this Turkey Leg Treats Video

From all of us here at the Mouse and the Monorail,  we hope you have a happy Thanksgiving! ~Meredith °o°

Meredith’s Favorite Disney Games

games

Disney Games

So it’s mid-July now and with school starting back in less than a month, I’m trying to squeeze in all the summer fun I can. Finding good games that your family can enjoy together can sometimes seem difficult when there’s SO many choices out there. Today I’ve got a list of my favorite Disney games. Whether you’re looking to find that perfect new board game for family game night or wondering what gaming options are available in the Disney parks, this post is for you!

games

In-Park Games 

Most people wouldn’t think too much about playing games while on vacation, especially at theme parks because they’re always rushing to their next favorite ride. In reality, there are quite a few super-fun interactive games within the parks (beyond the game-based rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin) that’ll keep you having fun and give you something new to try. Note: Games marked with an * require an additional fee to play. All other games listed here are included with your park admission ticket.

Walt Disney World

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – This one is a fav of mine and allows you to experience the park in a way you’ve never imagined, all while enjoying little to no wait lines!! Best yet, you can bring the cards home with you and play the card game while note at the parks! To play, stop by the Firehouse on Main Street to get started.

A Pirate’s Adventure – Like the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, this pirate adventure has loads of fun within the Magic Kingdom and allows you to start and stop at your leisure. You can get your own pirate adventure started by finding the kiosk located just past the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and Pirates League.

*Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade – What better way to immerse yourself in frontierland than to take your best shot at the rootin’ tootinest shooting gallery west of the castle.

Advanced Training LabLocated next to Mission:SPACE in Epcot, this interactive game area lets you “further your astronaut training and even create a space-age postcard”!

Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – Save the countries located in Epcot’s World Showcase from the evil Dr. Doofenschmirtz in this secret spy scavenger hunt. I personally loved this one as it made the countries come alive in a completely new way I had never experienced before. Don’t miss this one whether you have kids or not! You can begin your adventure at the entrance to the World Showcase or at any of the Agent P kiosks throughout the World Showcase.

ImageWorksLocated just after you take a Journey Into Imagination, you’ll find the ImageWorks “What If” labs. From conducting an orchestra to creating your own dragon, this interactive game area is perfect for little ones!

Innoventions – You’ll be surprised at how well you and your family enjoy the interactive fun within this Epcot attraction located in Future world. From getting caught in a storm or designing your own thrill ride, to learning how the colors of the rainbow brighten our world, there’s something fun to learn for everyone! You can even download the Colortopia app (iOS/android) to unlock even more fun! Find out more about Colortopia here.

Kidcot Fun Stops – While not really a game, this fun adventure is like letting your little ones take a Grand Tour (if people still did those) with Disney’s cuddly and well-traveled Duffy Bear. Just look for the Kidcot signs within the showcase pavilions.

Star Wars Launch Bay – While this stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t just a game, you can try out the Star Wars portion of Disney Infinity here!

*Fossil Games – What roadside carnival would be complete without midway style games? These fun-for-the-kids games are located in DinoLand USA within Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Wilderness Explorers – This conservation and culture learning game lets you explore Disney’s Animal Kingdom and earn badges just like Russell from Up would! To begin your experience, stop by the Wilderness Explorers stand as you exit the Oasis. The wilderness must be explored! Ca0caw, ca-caw! ROAR! This is one of my favorites for kids as it lets them explore and enjoy the park without worrying about what ride to race to next. Don’t miss it!!

Disneyland

*Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition – Like its WDW counterpart, this shootin’ gallery features tricky targets and lights, sounds, and animations! One of the first stops in frontierland, you can’t miss this authentic-looking log cabin.

Animation Academy – While not technically a game, this instructive course allows you to learn how to draw favorite Disney characters from Mickey himself to newer characters like Agent P.

Sorcerers Workshop – While you’re at the Animation building, be sure to experience the Sorcerer’s Workshop where you can create your animations (not just drawings) as well as discover which Disney character you’re most like by answering questions with an enchanted book from beast’s library!

*Games of the Boardwalk – Styled after classic Disney and Pixar franchises, these boardwalk games are loads of fun for the family.

Redwood Creek Challenge – If hiking, climbing, and challenges are your thing then this one is perfect for you. Located in Disney’s California Adventure, you may even discover your animal spirit in the process!

Disney Cruise Line

Midship Detective Agency – You can enjoy this interactive game (very similar to the Sorcerers of the MK) aboard the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships. I highly recommend for those cruising with kiddos!

Board Games

Pictopia – We got this one for Christmas and it’s super fun for the whole family. And even better, it has a companion app (iOS/android) that you can play along with the board game OR play alone when on the go!

Eye Found It! – This board game is great for families, especially those with preschoolers because it encourages your family to play as a team (you all win or you all lose) and doesn’t require participants to read in order to play. And for all you Star Wars fans, there’s even a SW edition!

Disney Hedbanz! – Guess which Disney character you are before your friends and family do and look totally stylish with the super cool Mickey ears headbands.

 

Check out all the fun Disney versions of classic board games too!

Disney Theme Park Edition III, Villains, and Disney Classics editions of Monopoly

Disney Parks, Minnie Mouse’s Sweet Treats, and Princess editions of Candyland

Inside Out and Theme Parks editions of Life

Disney Pictionary

Disney Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror editions of Clue

Finding Dory, Star Wars, and Doc McStuffins editions of Operation

HiHo! Cherry-O! with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Olaf’s in TROUBLE

Disney Guess Who

Disney Cranium

Frozen Jenga

Disney Wheel of Fortune

Disney Trivial Pursuit

Don’t Break the Ice: Frozen Edition

Disney Theme Park Scrabble

Video Games

Console-based (playstation, xbox, wii etc)

Disney Infinity – Available for most consoles this gaming system combines story-based gameplay with open-world creative building and makes playing with your favorite Disney characters an absolute delight.

Disney Magical World and Disney Magical World 2 (due out Oct 16 2016) Set out on your own theme park adventure with this Nintendo DS game. My kids (8 and 5) have loved this game and can’t wait for the new one to be released!

Just Dance Disney Party 2 – Jam and dance to more of your favorite Disney songs!

Playmation! – This is an interactive game for everyone. Don’t forget to download the companion app (iOS/android)!

App-based

Check out this week’s podcast to hear me chat all about these apps!

Disney Magic Kingdoms (iOS/android)

Kingdom Hearts Unchained (iOS/android)

Disney Dream Treats (iOS/android)

Disney Tsum Tsum (iOS/android) – This is the game where those adorable little stackable plushes originated!

Where’s My Mickey? (iOS/android) (definitely play the where’s my water version too!)

Inside Out Thought Bubbles (iOS/android)

For even more Disney games available as apps, check out these fun titles:

•Disneyland Explorer (iOS)

•Nemo’s Reef (iOS/android)

•Temple Run: Brave (iOS/android)

•Frozen Freefall (iOS/android)

•Disney Crossy Road (iOS/android)

•Infinity 2.0 Toybox (iOS/android)

•Star Wars: Commander Squad Wars (iOS/android)

•Castle of Illusion (iOS/android)

•Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (iOS/android)

•Disney Jigsaw (iOS)

•Marvel Avengers Academy (iOS/android)

•Marvel Puzzle Quest (iOS/android)

•Marvel Contest of Champions (iOS/android)

•DuckTales Remastered (iOS/android)

Well, if my list doesn’t keep you playing for hours, I don’t know what will! What are your favorite Disney games?