Episode 96: Top 5 Magic Kingdom Attractions

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Top Five Magic Kingdom Attractions

We’re back and ready to dish all about our Magic Kingdom favorites! We’re here to bring you our individual top five lists of Magic Kingdom attractions. From It’s a Small World to Pirates of the Caribbean to the Haunted Mansion, we’re listing all our favs!

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! What are you favorite Magic Kingdom attractions?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure

Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure

Have you ever found yourself watching “Cars” and wanting to visit Radiator Springs? Wouldn’t it be great if there was such a place as the Cozy Cone Motel or Flo’s V8 Café? Would you want to race other cars like Lightning McQueen or, better yet, meet Lightning McQueen? You’re in luck! In Disney’s California Adventure you can do all this and more in Cars Land! With amazingly themed food, rides, character meets, and a realistic atmosphere you’re going to feel like you’re in the movie itself!Planning a trip to Disney's California Adventure? Read our best tips for visiting Cars Land to help your prepare. We've got great tips to make the most of your stay.

Making a Pit Stop

In Cars Land, there are a ton of places to feed your appetite! If you’re looking for a sit down 50’s style restaurant, I’d suggest trying Flo’s V8 Café located directly across from The Cozy Cone Motel. Flo’s V8 Café offers Rotisserie Specialties such as Roast Beef or Turkey sandwiches, a Citrus Turkey Salad, chicken, ribs, and more. Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney's California AdventureNot in the mood for a full meal? Is that sweet tooth getting to you? Grab a milkshake! Flo’s has those too! If you’re looking for something lighter than a full meal, The Cozy Cone Motel will be your place to go! Each cone at one of the Cozy Cones has a different snack that you can munch on! They have everything from Ice Cream to Churro bites and Popcorn Chili in a Bread Cone!Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure

Ready, Set, Race!

If you’re looking to enjoy your time in Cars Land with some rides, I’d suggest starting with riding Radiator Springs Racers! To put into perspective for you Walt Disney World folks, Racers is much like Test Track in Epcot. Radiator Springs Racers puts you in the driver’s seat and submerges you into the movie itself! Take on the adventures alongside Mater and McQueen while racing to the finish line at the end!Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure I’d HIGHLY suggest getting a FastPass right away, the wait always exceeds an hour at any time of the day! Across the way from Flo’s V8 Café is where Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters lives. When riding, you take part in the dancing of the cars while riding in Luigi’s dancing cousins, mini fiats. When you’re either leaving Cars Land or just coming in, you’ll come across Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree! This high-speed attraction whips you around like no tomorrow while riding in one of Mater’s good old friends, a tractor!Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure

Now Leaving Radiator Springs

Whenever you visit Cars Land, it’s an unforgettable experience every time! The realistic atmosphere transports you right to the center of Radiator Springs. Cars Land offers unique opportunities to meet your favorite characters like Lightning McQueen or Mater! Every night when the sun goes down, just like the movie, Cars Land comes alive with the sounds of 50’s music and spectacular lighting effects!Best Tips for Visiting Cars Land at Disney's California AdventureBefore you know it, Cars Land looks completely different than it did in the day time! There’s so much to do, so, next time you plan your visit to Disney’s California Adventure, make sure you take a trip down Route 66!

Thanks to Disneyland contributor Amanda for this post and photos!

Kid Friendly Fun in Epcot

Kid Friendly Fun in Epcot

Far too often, Epcot is the least popular park for parents that are planning with kids in mind. It is often overlooked due to the opinion that it is not a kid friendly park. Guests miss out on so much when they skip this park. There are many fun opportunities and learning experiences at Epcot. Here are some tips about Epcot that could change your mind about this amazing park.Kid friendly fun in Epcot can happen! Find out why everyone's least favorite Disney World park might just be your child's favorite. From character meets to activities to learning experiences, there is something at Epcot for everyone.

Kid Friendly Rides

Rides are, often, important to most kids and Epcot does not disappoint. The park offers many unique ride experiences. I could talk about the rides all day, but here are just a few that are on the top of our list.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a bright, colorful ride followed by an aquarium populated with lots of sea life. Even very little ones will get caught up in all there is to see. Older ones can learn about the animals on display, as well.Soarin’ makes a lot of “top 10 Disney rides” lists. We didn’t get to ride it yet, but it’s definitely on the list for our next trip!

Test Track is a favorite for older children. Design your test car and get feedback on how it performs while you ride. Don’t miss the chance to create a free downloadable commercial featuring your own custom vehicle.

Do you have a Frozen fan? Then Frozen Ever After is definitely a must. I have a little Frozen fan that can not stop talking about this ride.

Kid Friendly Activities

I love that Epcot offers so many hands on opportunities for the kids. They are learning but they are having way too much fun to realize it.

Colortopia, located in Innoventions East, is a multifaceted exhibit that is all about color! There is a short movie, various color-themed activities, and a room sized coloring page!

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is an interactive activity for kids old enough to read or that have a little help from someone older. The adventure takes your little agent throughout the World Showcase where they will help solve cases (and learn a little about the world, too).

Turtle Talk with Crush is an amazing interactive audience participation show, akin to the laugh floor at Magic Kingdom. He even takes you through the many uses of the word “dude.”

Make sure to pick up a cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear. The kids had a blast decorating their Duffy and visiting each Kidcot Fun Stop for stamps, signatures, and information about each country.

Unique Character Meet and Greets

Remember that scene in Big Hero 6 where everybody hugs Baymax? Here’s your chance. The huggable, non-armored Baymax is ready and waiting for a fist bump.Belle is in her classic blue dress in the World Showcase. She is located next to the water in France. The water provides such a pretty backdrop for photos.

Joy and Sadness are ready to bring a little cheer (or tears) into your life. Unfortunately, Fear was too scared to show, Anger was too mad to meet with anybody, and Disgust heard that there might be broccoli pizza.

There are plenty of opportunities to meet Donald Duck throughout the parks but the only place you can see him in his caballero costume is in the World Showcase.
We enjoy Epcot so much that we are doing two park days there for our next trip. What is your favorite kid friendly fun at Epcot?

Thanks to our contributor Beth for this post and photos!

Why We Choose a Disney Vacation

I’ve been coming across various articles and blogs lately from people who choose NOT to visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Usually these posts contain trite statements claiming not to judge other families who do choose to visit Disney, but then the whole post is full of judgement anyway. In our personal life, when some people find out we are planning a trip back to Walt Disney World, I hear, “Again?” Yes, again.

My love affair with Walt Disney World, and Disney in general, started as a child. A few trips to Walt Disney World, and a slightly unhealthy obsession with The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, grew my love tenfold. It grew even more when we traveled for the first time to Walt Disney World with our oldest son, Tigger, for his 6th birthday back in 2012. My husband had never been to Walt Disney World. Since that trip, our family has been hooked on “the Mouse.” We’ve had several trips to Walt Disney World (with and without children), and have our next trip planned for May 2017 to coincide with our second Disney cruise.

Why We Choose a Disney Vacation

I love Disney so much that I jumped at the opportunity to help create The Mouse & the Monorail. I even became a Disney travel planner two years ago. Our family has absolutely fallen in love with the Disney experience, and here are a few reasons why.

The Magic

From the moment that we begin planning to the moment we are packing our bags to come home, Disney makes everything magic. I like to say, “If you are celebrating at Disney, then Disney is celebrating with you!” Disneyland and Walt Disney World give out celebration buttons for free, and they love to celebrate with you. Whether you are there for a birthday, anniversary, graduation or even something small like your child losing their first tooth, Disney loves to make you feel special. We’ve been given stickers, cupcakes and even extra fast passes from cast members that go above and beyond to make the experience magical.

Speaking of magic, does it get any more magical than watching your child meet Mickey Mouse for the first time? Or watching fireworks after a long day in the parks? For us, the answer is no. Disney allows guests to get away from it all and remain blissfully happy as long as possible.

The Experience

Our family has been fortunate to visit the parks several times and cruise with Disney once. During those trips, my boys have met to countless cast members from all over the world. They have taken an art class with a Disney animator, learned about different cultures and countries in Epcot, and tested the boundaries of science and mathematics while designing a car to race in Test Track. We’ve tried foods that were way out of our comfort zones and loved them! We’ve been on a safari in Animal Kingdom and learned about colonial America in Liberty Square. Disney’s Imagineers leave no stone unturned in making each attraction as accurate as possible.

The parks and resorts are full of educational opportunities, and many of them are even free! For example, anyone can visit Animal Kingdom Lodge and participate in their activities that promote African culture and wildlife. After the activity is over, participants are given a bead to signify what the class was about. Those beads can be added to a bracelet for a fun keepsake.  There are many in-park games that encourage you to explore the parks to the fullest, and don’t cost anything! You can even participate in Kidcot Fun Stop activities at Epcot that allow kids do crafts or activities from each country. Does your child want to be a pirate? Look no further than The Pirates League at Magic Kingdom. Have a princess in your house? She might love to visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! The opportunities truly are endless!

The Fun

Simply put, Disney is fun for the whole family. It’s nice being able to disconnect from the real world of work, bills and stress to spend a few days with Mickey and friends. There is nothing more fun than seeing the smile on my kids face as they goof off with Goofy or enjoy one of the many rides and attractions around the parks. Disney celebrates exploring the ends of your imagination and having fun while doing so. Have you ever seen an elephant fly? It doesn’t stop us from having a blast on Dumbo!

Whether we are riding Space Mountain, laughing at Mickey’s PhilharMagic or enjoying fireworks while dressed up like pirates on a Disney cruise, Disney puts a smile on our face and a skip in our step. My boys are having a blast, and we are making amazing memories as a family. They won’t always be little, but I want them to have as much fun as they can while they are!

So Why Do We Do Disney?

We do Disney because it makes us happy. If you don’t get that, maybe you need a little more happy in your life!

How to Plan a Disney Vacation in 2017

Plan a Disney Vacation in 2017

Plan Disney vacation with our easy tips.

In case you haven’t heard the news, on June 21st package rates will be released for 2017 travel to Walt Disney World. Packages include rooms and tickets to the parks. If you think that you want to visit WDW in 2017, but don’t know where to begin, here are some of our helpful resources that can help you get ready to plan the trip of your dreams.

Travel Agents

Walt Disney World can be very overwhelming for newbies. Travel agents can take care of the details for you so you don’t have to worry. If you book through an authorized Disney Vacation Planner, you know you are getting an expert, and the best part…you don’t have to pay anything for the service! Disney pays them for you! If you have questions on using a TA, listen to our podcast all about the services travel agents can provide for you. You can find each of our travel pages here: Jolly Holidays by Sarah, Main Street Memories by Meredith, and Tomorrowland Travels with Amy.

Where to Stay

Plan Disney vacation and learn where to stay.

You can check out our posts on which Disney World Resort is right for you. My part 1 post includes value and moderate resorts, and part 2 includes deluxe resorts and villas.  Our family loves Pop Century, a value resort, but other families may favor more deluxe accommodations. Sarah has covered why her family loves Port Orleans French Quarter and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Dining Plan

After covering where to stay, you’ll need to decide if the dining plan is right for your family. Listen to our podcast where we dished on Dining. Read what I shared in December about how I got out of my Disney dining comfort zone on the plan and loved every second of it.

Other Considerations

Would your family like the Memory Maker PhotoPass? How can you take the best pictures possible to remember this trip forever?

Plan Disney vacation and get your FastPasses early!

Wondering what in the world FastPass+ is? What about how to beat the heat in Orlando? We’ve got you covered on those topics too!

Lastly, check out my Top 5 Know Before You Go Tips. These tips will help you plan a Disney vacation with a lot less stress. Use the search button at the top of this page to check for anything else you might be wondering about or email us your questions at mouseandmonorail (at) gmail (dot) com.

Need to plan your Disney vacation and don't know where to start? Check out our best tips for easy planning and stress free Disney fun!

We would love to answer any questions you have! Will 2017 be the year for you and your family?

Episode 10: Our own Top 10 WDW Attractions

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It’s Friday and we’re back with our 10th (!!) episode of our Mouse and Monorail podcast! We’re super excited to have been podcasting for 10 weeks now and hope that you’re all enjoying what we have to say. For every 10 episodes, we’ll be bringing you a top ten list and today’s is our favorite attractions from Walt Disney World.

 

We’d love to hear what your top 10 WDW attractions are too, so feel free to tweet or comment with your favorite attractions! ~Meredith ºoº

Episode 8: Our Own Top 5 WDW Bucket Lists

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Today’s podcast is all about our Walt Disney World bucket lists – those things that we haven’t done yet, and dream of one day being able to say, “I’ve done that!” We didn’t share with each other what our Top 5 items were for our lists, and we all came up with some very different and uniquely Disney things. Here are the links to our bucket list items in case you want to find out more information about each one!

Meredith’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Bucket List
5. Eat at The Boathouse restaurant at Disney Springs
4. Complete all the adventure games in the parks: Pirates Adventure in Adventureland, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventures in Epcot, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Explorers in Animal Kingdom.
3. Visit the Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian Resort
2. Stay at Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.
1. Parks marathon and visit all 4 theme parks and 2 water parks in 1 day.

Sarah’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Bucket List
5. RunDisney event


4. Eat at the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Alberts and eat at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
3. The Pirates League, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Jedi Training Academy (Meredith and I have Pirates League and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experiences from prior trips. You can read about them here, here and here!)
2. Make Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom and be the family of the day.
1. Go to a hard ticket event such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and take a tour – Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot and Walt Disney: From Marceline to Magic Kingdom

Amy’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Bucket List
5. Visit Downtown Disney
4. Trio of snack items: Churro, Turkey Leg, and Zebra Dome
3. Keys to the Kingdom Tour in Magic Kingdom and Epcot Seas Aqua Tour in the Living Seas aquarium
2. Stay in a savannah room at Animal Kingdom Lodge
1. Stay in Cinderella Castle Suite which is only available if you are uber rich and famous or win a Disney contest!

Now that you’ve heard our lists – and my own personal confession that I’ve never been to Downtown Disney (now called Disney Springs) – what is on your Walt Disney World bucket list? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy º0º

News Around The World 5.1.15

Here is your weekly recap for news around the world!

  • Disney has released their room discounts through October 3rd, and free dining for select dates through 12/21. These offers are going fast, and exclusions apply.
  • The monorail schedule has changed for part of the summer. Beginning May 3rd through July the monorail will run on a limited schedule. Buses and Magic Kingdom watercraft (weather permitting) will continue to operate as usual. The monorail will operate a full schedule from May 24 to 27 for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios is testing pre-ordering of food and merchandise using mobile apps at Backlot Express and during Fantasmic. This could dramatically reduce wait times for quick service food, and this test will use the guest’s phone as an ordering and delivery tracking device.
  • New high-tech laundry machines are now available for guest use at most Walt Disney World Resort hotels. The new machines let guests check availability via the internet, where guests can view the status of each machine, and receive notifications of machine availability and when a cycle is completed. You can view the machine status for each resort at http://www.laundryview.com/disneyworld. If I have to do laundry on vacation, this will definitely make it less painful! laundry
  • Pirates of the Caribbean refurb has been pushed back to June 8th. The ride is expected to reopen to guests on September 26th.
  • Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters today, May 1st.
  • Disability Access Service at Walt Disney World is now tied to your MagicBands, and paper disability access cards are no longer available.

That’s the news around the world this week. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back on Monday! ~A ºoº

Trivia Tuesday

Here are yesterday’s trivia answers:

Question 1: Can you name the only three times that WDW has closed since its opening day in 1971? ~M ºoº

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Answer 1: WDW was closed due to Hurricane Floyd in 1999, 9/11/2001, and in 2002 due to a park power failure.

Question 2: Christmas is a big deal at Walt Disney World. Over ____ million lights are hung, ____ miles of garland is used, and _________ yards of ribbon and bows are draped over ________ Christmas trees around the Walt Disney World property. ~ A ºoº

Answer 2: Over 7 million lights are hung, 11.3 miles of garland is used, and 300,000 yards of ribbon and bows are draped over 1,360 Christmas trees around the Walt Disney World property. I’m impressed! (Source)

 

Question 3: When Epcot first opened, it had no _______. ~S ºoº

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Answer 3: When Epcot first opened, it had no thrill rides. Can you believe that?? What’s your favorite thrill ride there now?

 

Thanks again for playing with us today!

Hollywood Studios With Little Ones

Today I’m talking about hits for kiddos at Hollywood Studios park. We love Hollywood Studios for our older son Tigger, because there is so much he can do there, but Roo (2 ½ years old) had a great time too. Let’s get started!

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure

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This is a playground for kids 10 and under and is based on the 1989 movie, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids.”  Kids can play on a playground designed as though they have been shrunk. They get to go through 20 foot tall blades of grass, climb over ants and lawn sprinklers, and play until their heart is content pretending that they are shrunken in their own backyard. We haven’t been able to do this attraction on the last 2 trips to Disney because it was closed both times. Bummer, because I know both of my boys would love it.

Hi there! Sarah chiming in…my girls absolutely LOVED this attraction! We literally spent an hour here (it was a misty, wet day, so it was fine to sit for a bit), and they probably would have stayed longer if we didn’t have a FastPass+ reservation for Toy Story Mania! Like Amy, in trips past, this attraction had been closed for  various reasons, so I’m glad my kiddos finally got to experience it on our last trip. It’s a great place for kids to play and for parents or grandparents to sit and take a little breather. ~S

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Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Sarah again! This ride is a bit nostalgic for me. I have a special affinity for The Little Mermaid (I did rename myself Ariel when I was 3 after all), so this attraction is always going to be special to me. I’ll admit that on our last two trips, I didn’t have the time to squeeze it in, but if you are a fan of the movie, it’s really worth your time. It’s a live action/animatronic version of the movie, shortened to about 15 minutes. It definitely hits all the high points, including all of the most recognizable songs from the film, so you’ll definitely be singing along (even if it’s secretly!). If nothing else, you get to sit down in the cool air conditioning for 15 minutes, which, on peak summer days, is absolutely worth it. ~S

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Toy Story Mania

Hey howdy hey, this is my favorite thing in all of Hollywood Studios! An 3D arcade style ride that takes you through a midway featuring all the Toy Story friends. You enter a vehicle and compete in various challenges with your ride partner. It is so much fun! The rides spins around and you pull a little string on the end of a cannon that you can aim at various targets to earn points. It is so much fun!!! And the queue for the ride is a kids paradise! It has giant replicas of toys, games, and even a larger han life Mr. Potato Head. Definitely makes standing in line go by quickly!

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Muppet Vision 3D

Sarah again! I’m taking over Amy’s post! Haha! Sorry. But not really. I definitely wanted to help her out with some of these attractions that she has been unable to experience because I know some of you out there are big fans (or will be, if you take our advice!). Muppet Vision 3D is a show done mostly in 3D (with some live puppets sprinkled in) that features all your favorite Muppet characters. The premise of the show is that they are trying to create the best 3D show in the park, but, as always with Muppets, hilarious hijinks ensue. My girls begged to do this show over and over again after the first visit. I think we must have seen it at least 5 or 6 times one day. It’s got some loud bangs and pops, but most of the 3D tricks are silly and funny, so it shouldn’t scare anyone too much (trust me, I’ve got one skittish twin, and even she got used to all the noises after a few visits). If your kids love the Muppets, this is a show you cannot miss! ~S

Disney Junior – Live on Stage

This was probably Roo’s favorite part of HS! This show highlights some of your child’s favorite Disney Junior characters, including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First. The show uses puppets and live actors, and has tons of audience participation because everyone is sitting in the middle of the room on the ground, so it is uber kid friendly. Your kids will be singing, dancing and loving every second of this show!

Hollywood Studios seems to be geared more toward older kids, but you can definitely find ways to entertain your little one there and the whole family can have fun. What is your favorite Hollywood Studios attraction? ~A ºoº

Animal Kingdom For Your Little One

We visited Animal Kingdom for the first time on our trip to WDW last September. Because there were so many things on our to-do list, we only opted to spend ½ day at AK. We arrived at the park, in true Wade fashion, an hour before the park opened and we were the first people in line to get in. Because we were only there for ½ day, I was very selective with our choices, and we honestly, didn’t see half of what the park has to offer. Here are our favorites for Animal Kingdom with a little one:

Kilimanjaro Safaris: This is what Animal Kingdom is all about, and perfect for kids of any age. You board a safari vehicle, and then travel on an African safari. The habitats are very open, with hidden (camoflauged or natural) barricades, so you are protected from the dangerous animals like lions and hippos, but animals like zebras, impalas, giraffes and rhinos roam free. Watering holes and salt licks are strategically placed to ensure that you have a good view of the animals, and some amazing pictures. Our entire group loved this so much that the only thing that stopped us from doing it twice was the long wait. I highly recommend getting to this attraction early in the day, or very late in the afternoon. Otherwise the lines can get very long. This is definitely a do-not-miss attraction!

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The Boneyard: This is a huge dinosaur themed playground for kids. We all know that when you go to Disney, you wait in lines. This play area is perfect for letting your little ones explore, run and play, and not have to worry about lines for just a little while. Best part, there is only one entrance in and out of the boneyard, so even though it is a sprawling playground, you know your little ones are corralled. The playground equipment is designed like dinosaur skeletons, and they can run, slide and go crazy for a little while. If you are so included, you can also take your child into the covered sandpit (it’s not really sand, but rubber), and let them dig and explore for bones and fossils, while you prop your feet up for a few minutes and enjoy the shade. Once again, our entire family enjoyed the boneyard immensely.dig

TriceraTop Spin: This is a Dumbo style ride, shaped like a dinosaur. Roo thought it was fun, and considering there aren’t a lot of rides that he could do at AK, we had to give it go.

It’s Tough To Be A Bug: This is a 3-D presentation about life as a bug. Found inside the Tree of Life, this movie does have some special effects. We didn’t have a chance to see this, but I’ve been told we need to give it a try next time.
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Wilderness Explorers: Hi! This is Meredith filling-in for this portion because Amy wasn’t able to experience this and I feel that it’s a MUST for anyone with kids. This is a free attraction and can be played at any time during your day in the AK. Simply see a Cast Member for your book and pencil on the bridge as you exit the Oasis. (It’s the bridge where you first see the Tree of Life). This fun and interactive attraction sets your little adventurer out on a quest to earn as many Wilderness Explorer badges (think Russell from Pixar’s Up) throughout the AK. Use the map to locate the WE stops along your way and discover all sorts of unique and captivating bits of info and hands-on, one-on-one experiences with some pretty cool creatures. At most of the stops you’ll seek out a WE cast member and complete the task or answer the question in the book. If you get it right, you earn your badge!

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And can I just say that the CM’s that work the WE stops are some of the BEST CM’s because they get so excited when you show up genuinely wanting to learn and interact. Boo learned how to write her name in Hindi, played “twinkle, twinkle, little star” on an actual Indonesian musical instrument, determined what was hurting a turtle by examining its x-ray, converted currencies based on the day’s values, and discussed why in the world flamingos are pink. And that’s just a few of the things you’ll get to do and explore. She actually ended up earning 25 of the ~30 badges!! We just paid attention to the WE map as we made our way through the park and hit most all of them. She’s even wanting to complete the remaining ones on her next trip so she can say she did them all!! This “attraction” is hands-down one of the BEST ways to experience the AK because it makes slowing down and appreciating the animals and all that nature has to offer incredibly enjoyable. Whoever said that spending a day in the Disney parks ISN’T educational has never experienced the Wilderness Explorers! “The Wilderness must be explored!! Ca-caw ca-caw! Roar!!!!” °o° ~M

I definitely know that there is tons that Animal Kingdom has to offer that we haven’t gotten the chance to see/do yet, but once again, that’s why we want to go back! Did I mention your favorite attraction for your kiddo at Animal Kingdom? Leave us some love in the comment section and let us know your thoughts! Toodles! °o° ~A

Epcot For Your Little One

So today I’m talking about Epcot attractions for your little ones. I feel like today’s post needs to come with an * noting that in two trips to Epcot in two years, we have YET to make it around the lake to see all the counties. It’s not that we don’t like Epcot, cause we do (we really, really do!). We just get so wrapped up in all Epcot has to offer before you even make it to the countries, that we always seem to run out of time. Next trip to Disney, Epcot is going to get at least a full day, and not just a few park hopped hours here and there. So with that little caveat, here is what my little Roo (2 ½ years old) loved about Epcot.

Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium: Instead of lions and tigers and bears, you can find sea turtles, dolphins and sharks! This 5.7 million gallon aquarium is home 4,000 sea critters in one of the largest man made ocean environments in the world. They feed the fish at 10:00 and 3:30, and a cast member will narrate everything you are seeing underwater. If you go to the second floor observation deck you are in a room completely surrounded by the aquarium. So awesome! There is also an interactive area, and a “fins-on” play area at Bruce’s Shark World. Definitely a fun experience and cute photo ops!

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Innovations East and West: Lots and lots of fun, interactive stuff for kids (and grown-ups) of all ages. Features exhibits about fire and storm safety, engaging exhibits (like a videogame playground) and hands on stuff about green living, environmentalism, technology, etc. We have had a blast at Innovations.

Living With The Land: Take a boat ride through various world environments, and into a greenhouse where tons of different fruits, vegetables and crops are grown with some amazing, state-of-the-art techniques. Disney uses the food grown in this ride in some of their Epcot restaurants, so it’s really cool to see that Disney is actually “farming” right on site. You also see the tanks where the sustainable fish are kept, until, ummmm, dinner time. We rode 2 times, it was that intriguing!

Spaceship Earth: You simply cannot go to Epcot without visiting “the ball.” Yes, the ball has a name! And it’s a ride! Whodathunkit? Spaceship Earth is an interactive ride through history and technology. Good for the whole family, and it generally has a very short wait time. This ride travels around the inside of the 18 story iconic landmark, and it begins with historical scenes of early communication and brings you all the way through the beginning of modern technology. After your ride is complete, you can play the games that are found after the unloading dock.

epcotThe Seas with Nemo & Friends: This is a fun ride through the Finding Nemo movie. The queue is very beachy and the line generally moves fairly quickly. You will ride in a clam-mobile and meet Mr. Ray and his class from the movie, where you learn that Nemo is missing. You will journey through the ocean to try to find Nemo. Very cute!

Turtle Talk With Crush: This is a super cute, interactive show where the kids sit in a designated area on the floor and get to interact with a “live” version of Crush (the sea turtle from Finding Nemo) on a huge tv screen. The kids are asked questions and get to talk to Crush and ask him questions. It’s definitely a hit for the kids and the adults, and the voice of Crush is dead on to the movie version. I rate it as “not to be missed.”

So there you have our favorite rides and attractions at Epcot for little ones. I know that there are jewels missing in my Princess crown for not having seen more of Epcot, but I keep telling myself, “that’s just another reason to go back!” Did I mention your favorite Epcot attraction? Miss it? Tell me all about what you and your little ones love about Epcot in the comment section. Toodles! ~A ºoº

Magic Kingdom Rides for Your Little Ones

Traveling to Magic Kingdom with a child is what dreams are made of! The kids are still young enough to appreciate the magic and joy, and let’s face it; it’s super easy to act like a kid when you are with your kiddos!

I’ve broken down the rides at Magic Kingdom that I thought would be perfect for the little kids today, based on the lands for easy referencing if you are planning a trip. Mind you, all the rides/attractions on this list will be fine for anyone under 38 inches tall. Anything with a *** on it I consider a “Do Not Miss” ride or attraction. Let’s get started!

 

Main Street, U.S.A.

Other than the Main Street Vehicles (old timey cars) and the Walt Disney World Railroad, there aren’t any “rides” on Main Street. However, don’t pass up the railroad as an easy way to move around the park without all the walking, or as a perfect place to hop on and ride as a little one takes a nap or needs a little quiet time. You get the chance to see the park from the train and rest your legs at the same time.

If you can, try to catch a ride on one of the Main Street vehicles. Also fun, and a great way to capture some cute pictures!

 

Adventureland

Adventureland is about as fun as you can get for the adventurous kiddos in your bunch. My boys love it! Nothing too scary, but lots of fun to be found!
Jungle Cruise***: A slow moving boat ride through the Amazon, narrated by a very humorous guide with some very hokey, but funny jokes. Nothing scary about this ride, but you will encounter elephants, hippos and crocodiles! A definite favorite with my boys!

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin: Picture Dumbo, but add magic carpets instead of flying elelphants and you have The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. A spitting camel sprays water on riders, but you can maneuver your carpet around to avoid the water (or aim for it if it is a super hot day!). Nothing scary, but not particularly worth a long wait, IMHO.

Pirates of the Caribbean***: An indoor boat road through various pirate scenes. It didn’t faze my kids, but it might be a bit intense if you have a skiddish child.

Swiss Family Treehouse: While not a ride, I consider it a fun place to explore the replica of the treehouse from Swiss Family Robinson if you have a few minutes to spare. There’s never a line, but there is a lot of climbing stairs (it is a treehouse!), so consider that if you are going to be toting a little one that doesn’t feel like walking anymore!

 

Frontierland

There isn’t much in Frontierland for the little kids, but you can always visit Tom Sawyer Island (which we haven’t done, so I can’t speak for it) or the Country Bear Jamboree which is an animatronic show that features singing bears. I didn’t much care for it, but it is air conditioned and dark so if you need a good place to rest your eyes, or let a little one rest, give it a shot.

 

Liberty Square

Haunted Mansion: Ride on a “Doom Buggy” through the haunted mansion, from the parlor to the attic and then the graveyard. This one can be scary and a little intense, but both of my boys have done fine on it.

Liberty Belle Riverboat: We’ve never been on the Liberty Belle, but if you are killing time while the older kids are on Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain, which is just down the way, I recommend giving it a shot.

 

Fantasyland

Fantasyland is what dreams are made of for little kids! Here is a break down ride-by-ride.

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel***: A beautiful carousel right behind Cinderella’s castle. How much more magical can it get to ride a carousel behind the most amazing castle? Love it!

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It’s a Small World***: An indoor boat ride around the world where you will hear the most mind-numbing song ever! J/K. You have to give this ride a chance, even if you have the song stuck in your head all day long. The tour around the world features dancing dolls dressed in the attire of their culture. It’s air-conditioned, and the line moves fairly quickly. At the very least, you can get off your feet for a few minutes.

Mad Tea Party***: This is the spinning teacup ride! Beware for parents with motion sickness, but this ride is so much fun! Both of my boys loved it, and the best part to them was spinning the cup as fast as they could. If spinning until motion sickness occurs isn’t quite your thing, you can always ride the teacups, but not tell your kids that they can spin you faster! 🙂

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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh***: Pure magic. Disney beauty at its finest! I’ve always been a Winnie the Pooh fan, but this ride and queue was incredible. The queue has tons of stuff to keep the kids entertained, including a wall of “honey” that the kids can manipulate, and the ride does an amazing job of depicting the 100 Acre woods. One of my favorites!

Mickey’s PhilharMagic***: A 3D movie attraction that features lots of Disney characters. We all loved it!

Peter Pan’s Flight***: An amazing ride in a flying pirate ship from London to Never-Never Land. Beautifully done ride, and one that the whole family can enjoy.

Under the Sea***: Journey of the Little Mermaid: Ride in a clam shell through a brief telling of the story of the Little Mermaid. One of the newest attractions in Fantasyland, this one is also not to be missed!

Dumbo the Flying Elephant***: An iconic Disney ride, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, is a midway ride where you, um, ride a flying elephant. The ride itself is lots of fun for little kids, and the queue is a huge indoor playground that gives you a pager so your kids can play while you wait for your time to ride. What’s not to love about that?

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The Barnstormer: This ride appears to be an introductory roller coaster ride for kids. In actuality, it is a ride that will make parents physically sick. I didn’t get whiplash as bad from any other ride at WDW! We rode this on our first trip, and I was very disappointed. The waiting took forever, and the ride itself is only 21 seconds long. Not worth it in my opinion, especially with the residual headache I got.

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station: A nice playing area for the kids, but it will leave your little one wet. Consider yourself warned!

 

Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin***: The Magic Kingdom version of HS Toy Story Mania, this ride is fun. You and Buzz Lightyear are fighting the evil Emperor Zurg to save the universe. You spin your car around and shoot laser cannons at different targets. Very interactive and lots and lots of fun, even if your little one can’t really shoot and aim at the targets, they still feel like they are scoring lots of points.

Astro Orbiter: This is a very tame rocket ship ride with a great view of the kingdom. Not much to it, but worth it for the view.

Tomorrowland Speedway: A small race track with cars that ride along a guide rail, moving up to 7mph. I may be the worst parent in the world for saying this, but I loathe this ride. The wait is always ridiculously long, and almost the entire queue is the full sun. The two times I’ve ridden it recently I got a car that barely moved. I probably won’t ride this anymore!

Tomorrowland Transit Authority: A tram-like ride that takes you on a tour of Tomorrowland. We all have really enjoyed this ride. It moves fairly fast, and gives you a sneak peek into Space Mountain.

 

So there you have it! The rides of Magic Kingdom that I think would work for little ones. Do you have any favorites on the list? Was I the only parent that rode the Barnstormer and almost lost my lunch? Leave us a comment with your thoughts! Toodles! ~A ºoº