We’re back and having fun talking about all the fun games to be played while at Walt Disney World. That’s right, Disney isn’t only rides! From sorcerers and secret agents, to exploring the wilderness (ca-caw, ca-caw, ROAR!), we’re going to be talking about it all! Which Disney parks game is your favorite?
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?
It’s been long enough. It’s time for Sarah, Amy, and Meredith to once again talk about one for our favorite Disney topics: food! And for today’s 60th episode, we’ve got our Top Ten Quick Service locations at Walt Disney World. Whether you’re using the dining plan or not, you’ll be surely need a good counter service options for your vacation and we’ve got a little bit of everything from covered. From the parks, to the resorts and even to Disney Springs, we’re going to talk about it all! The best thing about these counter service offerings, aside from how delicious they are, is the fact that you don’t need a reservation for any of these!! That’s right. Go eat! Whenever you want! So sit back and enjoy our Top Ten Quick Service locations in Walt Disney World.
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If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know and be sure to include what your favorite WDW quick service location is!And 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: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.
We are roughly 200 days away from our next Disney trip, and I’m coming to you today because I need advice! I can’t make up my mind about what we should do on our next trip. Who else should I turn to but our trusted Mouse & Monorail readers for their input and opinions. So here goes…
We are taking our family on another Disney cruise in late May 2017 for our son Roo’s 6th birthday. It will be my husband, our 2 sons (ages 10 and 6) and myself. I know that there is simply no way I can cruise from Port Canaveral and NOT visit Walt Disney World. The question then turns to, “what do I want out of our next Disney trip?” We are wanting to be there for a couple of nights before our cruise, and we don’t want to break the bank. Here are a few options I’m tossing around:
Option 1: Stay in a value or moderate resort, perhaps Pop Century or Caribbean Beach. We would purchase a 1 day water parks and more tickets and visit Magic Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. We haven’t visited the WDW water parks yet, so this would be fun and new for us. The boys love water parks, and I think with their ages there would be plenty to do to keep us all happy.
Option 2: Once again stay in a value or moderate resort, and purchase 2 day tickets. We would visit Magic Kingdom and either Epcot or Animal Kingdom. I would like to see the new Animal Kingdom light show when it comes out, but a date hasn’t been set for that. The kids would probably enjoy Animal Kingdom (especially Expedition Everest) more than Epcot, but Jeremy and I fell in love with Epcot on our last trip. I’d love to really explore Epcot more, and allow them to see all the fun things around the World Showcase. And hello, Soarin’ and Test Track!
Option 3: Skip the parks all together and splurge on a savanna room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort is on my bucket list, and I would absolutely be in heaven waking up and seeing the giraffes outside my room. If we picked this option, we would probably explore the resort, eat at restaurants we’ve never tried, play in the pools and visit Disney Springs. We might even get tickets to La Nouba by Cirque de Soleil. It would truly be 2 days of relaxation enjoying the resort amenities to the fullest. I’d also like to do the starlight safari at Animal Kingdom.
So those are a few of my ideas. What do you think? Which option would YOU pick if it were your trip? Feel free to throw out other ideas in the comments. I’m truly open to all suggestions, and can’t wait to hear which choice you would pick. Have a magical day! ~Amy ºoº
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!
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.
•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.
•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!!
•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!
•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 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!
Hey howdy hey, we’re back again today to chit chat all about those juicy Disney rumors that have been going around. Enjoy and let us know what you think about the rumors and if you’ve heard any that we didn’t mention from the ‘ol Rumor Mill! ~Meredith ºoº
In today’s episode, we’re finally back from our holiday break and excited to be sharing with better sound quality! Amy was able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom‘s Keys to the Kingdom tour this past December and tells all about what it was like and how she enjoyed it. Can’t wait til I can take this tour one day! ~Meredith ºoº
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
Disney is ready for the upcoming Christmas season, and Sarah, Meredith and I wanted to make sure you knew about some fun stuff going on in the parks if you are lucky enough to be visiting between now and the end of the year.
Holidays Around The World at Epcot, running November 28 through December 30, will feature international holiday traditions, Tastes from Around the Globe, the annual Candlelight Processional, and a holiday edition of Illuminations. Don’t miss this chance to see Epcot like you’ve never seen it before!
A Frozen Holiday Wish has debuted at Magic Kingdom and visitors get the chance to see Elsa cover Cinderella Castle in ice. The pictures look amazing!
Yummy holiday goodies are available at the parks, and they look so delicious! The thought of eating a chocolate peppermint cupcake is making my mouth water!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be held now through December 19th. This is a hard ticket event, meaning that you have to purchase it separately from your regular park admission, but it will give your kids (and yourself!) the chance to see Mickey and Santa together. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the special Disney parties, and it allows your family to get to stay in the park until midnight!
We hope if you are lucky enough to visit the parks before the end of the year that you will take advantage of some of these fun opportunities. And please, if you do go, eat a peppermint cupcake for me! ~A ºoº
Having a funeral director hubby, The Haunted Mansion is one of our family favorites. Sort of brings a taste of his work with us on our family vacation. 🙂 The queue is super entertaining with the comical tombstones, and the ghosts and ghouls on the ride are a spooky delight! So guess what?!? It was announced that a new Haunted Mansion themed gift shop will be opening this fall in the site of the Yankee Trader shop in Liberty Square.
Items for sale in the shop will include apparel, accessories, home decor and much, much more. Here are a few pics of what’s to come (if we live to see it!) Who knows when it will be our time to catch a ride in a Doom Buggy!
So whatcha think? Do you foresee some HM merchandise souvenirs from your next Walt Disney World trip? I think getting a HM themed tshirt would be super cute for Halloween, and who doesn’t have room in the cabinet for another coffee cup? Weigh in in the comment section with your thoughts on the new merchandise. Have a spooktacular day! ~A ºoº
Hey howdy hey, its Friday again! And I’m super excited to share with you all more of our Rock Your #Disneyside day. Yep, I’m finally getting around to pt2 of my trip report!! If you missed the first report, you can check that out here.
After lunch, and a little playtime with our friends, we headed back to Main Street for some ice cream and the Festival of Fantasy parade. I was super excited to try out the new (not even officially on the menu yet) Kitchen Sink from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. And although there was no way I could possibly finish this scrumptious treat, I still just HAD to get one. They’re priced at around $15, but there’s enough to feed four easily. Not that you’d want to share, but still. ^_^
We scoped out a shady spot in front of Casey’s Corner to park the girls (they were both napping in the double stroller at this point) and enjoyed the ice cream. I had a lovely chat with a lady who just happened to be one of our rivals (yes, she was an Alabama fan and you can check it out on my ig) and then enjoyed WDW’s most fantastical AND fantastic parade that I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. The Festival of Fantasy parade boasts some of the most beautifully designed parade floats and costumes. It also brings a much-needed update to more currently known and celebrated Disney characters while continuing to celebrate some of WDW’s most beloved characters.
You’ll see Anna and Elsa without waiting 300+ minutes as well as the likes of Captain Hook, the magnificent Maleficent in dragon form, and a very spunky Tinkerbell. The Frozen sisters join Belle and the Beast, Tiana and Naveen, and Cinderella and Prince charming on a ginormous float that leads the parade. Other floats feature the Tangled gang, the crew from Neverland, the Little Mermaid, Brave, and Sleeping Beauty. The parade finishes with a beautifully-detailed float featuring those classic Disney characters that made the Disney name so iconic. You can check out my full gallery of photos here.
I have to say, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were so unexpectedly cool! They’re actually on some sort of, what I can only imagine as a kind of roomba-type platform, but man! They whizz around and they’re just so much fun to see in person. But for all it’s grandeur, the stars of this parade are actually the costume designers and cast members wearing said costumes. So good are they, that I’d dare say that Disney actually has designers from the Capitol working for them because they so brightly and accurately portray the floats and stories they’re accompanying. All of this combined, make this parade a MUST see for anyone and everyone who hasn’t had the pleasure. It definitely added a fun new thing to experience for those of us who have been in recent years and are looking for something new and magical to do.
Aaaaaaaand, I’m going to pause there for now, more to come soon!! And if you’d like to watch the full parade video now, you can watch the video here. ~M °o°
Have any of you experienced the Festival of Fantasy parade? Where in the park did you watch from and what did you think of it?
We’re back for another Trivia Tuesday and we’ve kept it all about the Magic Kingdom today! Thanks for playing along over on our fb! Now let’s see how many of you were right…
Question 1: Everyone knows the famous “Partners” statue in Magic Kingdom, right? What is Walt wearing on his right hand in the statue, and why?
Answer 1: Walt is wearing an Irish Claddagh ring on his right ring finger. He and Mrs. Disney went to Ireland together and bought a ring for each other. They wore them every day! ~A °o°
Question 2: When Walt Disney World first opened, what was the price of adult admission?
Answer 2: Admission into WDW would have set you back a whopping $3.50! And yes, you had to purchase additional attraction tickets often sold in booklets. The first ticket types included an A ($0.10) through E ($0.90) system with A tickets being the lower end while E tickets (officially called “e coupons”) were designated for the most exciting and exclusive attractions. ~S °o°
Question 3: What was the first year that WDW sold tickets that included both admission and transportation AS WELL AS including ALL of the rides and attractions? And how much did this all-inclusive ticket cost?
Answer 3: According to AllEars.net, the price of the first 1-day passport was between $11.50 and $13.25 in 1981. But even then, there were still exclusions to it’s “unlimited” title. The Shootin’ Gallery, Discovery Island, and River Country features were all excluded from the unlimited clause. Also, check out the EPCOT (before it officially changed to Epcot) Center Preview located INSIDE the Magic Kingdom! ~M °o°
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 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!
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.
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 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!
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! 🙂
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?
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!
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