It’s time for another of our brand new guest contributor posts!! Thanks to all our new contributors and be sure to give her some comment love!
Hello everyone! I’m Amanda, and I’m a new contributor to The Mouse & The Monorail. I know a lot of you are probably like me and a little addicted to the magical world of Disney. Where else can all your worries be washed away and you can be like a kid again? I began my Disney addiction at the young age of 2. My family tried to get us down to Orlando every other year. I remember the days of the 20,000 Leagues under the sea, The Skybuckets, Mickeys Toontown Fair, and the days of paper tickets! While I miss all the old rides, they have replaced them with some great ones!
I got married in 2004 and our honeymoon destination was none other than Disney World. My husband had never been, so I was excited to share it with him. We opened and closed the parks every day we were there and came home exhausted after the 9 hour drive. My hubs said, “I hope you enjoyed that, we are never doing that again!” Well our first Anniversary, Disney offered an amazing deal, so yea…we went again! And then the next year another fabulous deal. Do you see a pattern here?
So here we are now in 2015….2 kids later, we have managed to visit the world every year except 2007, but we made up for it and went twice in 2008 and twice in 2014. I have seen Disney when I was 8 months pregnant (ummm wow!), I have taken kids as young as 3 months old, and vacationed with friends as well as grandparents. We have stayed in the Value resort almost every time, used the Dining plan or the Quick Service Dining plan, and ventured to several other “optional” experiences. We try to see and do a lot for all ages and we have fun every time! I cant wait to share adventures with you all, and I hope each of you can get a little more addicted with me!
Now, I’d like to share with you a little advice based off of the questions I have been asked over the years.
Traveling with children -I hear so many people say “My kids are too old for Disney” or “My children are too young, they wont remember it.” Well I can say I have taken my son yearly since 9 months old and my daughter yearly since 3 months old, and they both have remembered rides since they were around 2 years old. Disney makes it easy to travel with children, and they even make them free up to 3 years old! If you are thinking its like Six Flags and they cant ride anything, you are in for a treat. At 3 months, my daughter was able to ride at least 85% of the rides at Disney. Of course she couldn’t ride the major rides, but there is a lot more that babies and toddlers can ride than people think. Some of the rides I was able to wear the baby carrier on, and others I held her in my arms. I would say the fastest moving one is Toy Story Mania and we had her in the carrier for that one. The rides they can’t ride, Disney offers a rider swap option. This works as a FastPass for the parent staying behind with the little one. That way if you have other kids, you can take turns riding with them, without waiting in line twice! So believe me when I say, Disney is a park for ALL ages. Your kids are not too young or too old for Disney (unless they are a few weeks old, then I understand!)
Best time to visit – I would say the Best time to visit for lowest crowds is September. For overall best Experience – November or December (excluding the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.) September is awesome for riding as many rides as you want and they usually offer Free Dining during this time. However, the heat can get to you and sometimes its pretty rainy as well! November and December – Great temperatures, the crowd level is up a little but its manageable. Many times Free Dining is offered certain dates. The Christmas lights though, are AMAZING!!! And if you are going around this time, try to take in the Very Merry Christmas Party too!
Best place to stay – There are amazing properties all around Disney. Offsite vs Onsite – I am onsite all the way! I love free parking, buses constantly running, extra magic hours, magic bands, get your FastPass picks earlier, free dining promotions, need I say more?! Now that you know I say onsite, what is the best Disney hotel to stay at? This depends on your budget and how you vacation. If you are going to hit the park in the morning, lounge around the hotel and sight see some and enjoy some downtime, then I would recommend a Moderate level resort or above and check their amenities. If you are going to Disney to see the parks and go to the park every day….you probably just need a value resort! If you are like us, we open and close the parks so we only see our hotel room to sleep and shower…the rest of the times we are in a park. It would be a huge waste of money for us to look at a Deluxe hotel, even though they are awesome, because we are not around the hotel enough to take in the amenities that make it worth the extra money. So consider your plans before choosing a hotel.
Hope this helps a little bit! I look forward to sharing more Disney magic with you! ~Amanda
Thanks for the great post Amanda! If you’d like to become a guest contributor, simply shoot us an email at mouseandmonorail (at) gmail (dot) com! We’d love to feature you too!! ~M º0º