Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Disney’s summer celebrations kicked off Memorial Day weekend, and Disney’s California Adventure got quite the treat with the grand opening of a brand new ride! On January 2, 2017, Tower of Terror had its final checkout in order to make way for Disney’s newest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Many fans had mixed emotions about the loss of TOT. I had the pleasure of experiencing this new attraction on opening weekend and will tell you all about it!Ready to ride the newest rides at Disney's California Adventure? Read our best tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout before you go!

Out With the Old, In With the New

After 5 long months, the highly anticipated ride was ready for the public! During the long wait, the hotel began to take the shape of the Collector’s fortress from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s definitely an eye catching design! While you wait for this thrilling attraction, the ride queue comes to life with all sorts of different, unique plants and designs that’ll surely leave you in high expectations for the ride! As you approach the entry way to what used to be a hotel lobby, you are blown away by the transformation that has taken place! From the moment you walk in, you’re surrounded by glass cases with various items The Collector has collected. As you walk through the line, you enter the Collector’s private office where a very realistic animatronic Rocket explains what to expect on the ride.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Mission: BREAKOUT!

Without giving too much away, the premise of the ride is to help Rocket as he tries to free the Guardians who were captured by Taneleer Tivan a.k.a. The Collector. Riders enter a gantry lift that takes them up and drops them down Tivan’s fortress. If you think you know what’s going to happen next, you’re wrong! The ride includes 6 different variations so each time you ride could be different from the last! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be determined to ride all 6 variations! Let me give you some tips if you’re planning to visit this ride in the coming months!Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Due to the popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy, the opening of this ride definitely meant LARGE crowds. I would highly suggest arriving at least an hour before the park even opens. Once my friend and I entered the park, we divided and conquered. I stayed in the standby line while my friend went to the FastPass line. Because the park hadn’t opened yet, the standby line was queued in the Hyperion Theater courtyard while the FastPass line was queued backstage. Once the park opened at 9:00 a.m., lines started moving and boy did the wait time increase! By the time my friend and I made it to the actual ride to stand in the outside queue, the wait time hit 300 minutes. After about an hour we finally made it on the ride.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

My Reaction

We had no idea what to expect, aside from lots of drops. From start to finish the ride keeps you on the edge of your seat! You truly don’t know what you’ll see or when you’ll drop next! So, which did I like better? TOT or Guardians? Well, Guardians did a great job with both the interior and exterior décor, as well as creating a completely different experience for this ride. But, I am a die hard Tower of Terror fan and that ride will always hold a special place in my heart.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Summer of Heroes

Now if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “this ride isn’t for me.” That’s okay! The opening of this ride coincides with California Adventure’s “Summer of Heroes” where you can meet some of your favorite Marvel characters such as Black Widow or Captain American or even have a dance party with Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy! Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BreakoutDon’t forget to check out all the new food and merchandise options available in the Hollywood Backlot in DCA! Where will you go first this summer?

Thanks to Disneyland contributor Amanda for this photos and accompanying photos!

Disneyland Gumball Rally

Have you ever wondered how many attractions you could get on in a single day? Think you can do them all? Well, thanks to Micechat’s Annual Gumball Rally, I was able to find out! What is the Disneyland Gumball Rally you might ask? It’s a competition for teams of 2, 3, or 4 to see how many attractions they can ride in Disneyland and DCA within the allotted event time. Hear all about Amanda's experience with Micechat Podcast's Disneyland Gumball Rally! It's a one day extravaganza of rides and fun. Read her first hand experience before you decide to participate in the Gumball Rally for yourself.This year marked the 11th Annual Gumball Rally, and in honor of Pirates of the Caribbean’s 50th Anniversary, the theme was Pirates! This was my first year competing in the Rally, and I would like to share my experience with you!Disneyland Gumball Rally

Disneyland Gumball Rally

On the day of the rally, my friend and I made our way to The Anaheim Hotel where the opening ceremonies would begin. Teams have the option of basic registration or VIP registration. Because it was our first year, we opted for VIP registration! This royal treatment included priority seating for the opening ceremony and awards ceremony, full breakfast and dinner, a rally t-shirt, commemorative rally pin, and access to compete in the rally!Disneyland Gumball Rally

Choosing Teams

Each team also comes up with a team name and logo. Our team name was the Bitter Bellhops in honor of our favorite ride, Tower of Terror! After breakfast and a quick run-down of the rules, everyone made their way to the parks to begin the rally! At this point, you might be asking, “How do you prove you went on the ride?” Great question! Every team is given a question booklet pertaining to the attractions they must visit. This year there were three booklets, two for Disneyland (Disneyland East/Disneyland West) and one for DCA, totaling 39 attractions.Disneyland Gumball Rally

Starting Line

Once all the teams received their booklets, we were dismissed, and the rally officially began! We chose to start our race with Disneyland East. Within the first two hours, we had already completed five attractions including Space Mountain, Star Tours, and Peter Pan. We kept this momentum going, completing 11 of the 14 rides in Book One. There comes the point where lines are just too long, and you and your team have to decide that it’s okay to not go on a ride.Disneyland Gumball Rally

Working Our Way Through the Parks

We decided to move on to Book Two, Disneyland West. Did I happen to mention the weather? Oh yes, it was in the 60s with off and on rain. You bet we embraced those water rides! By 3:30, we decided to call it quits with Book Two and make our way to DCA since we only had until 7:00 p.m. to complete the rally. At this point, we had completed 17 attractions.

Fight to the Finish Line

Toward the end, the crowds had settled in, and the lines were outrageous. We received Book Three and quickly scanned the rides we needed to go on. Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin’, Soarin’ over the World, Midway Mania were just a few we needed to ride. Lines exceeded an hour for each of them. Time was slowly running out, exhaustion was setting in, and to say I was hangry was an understatement! Of the 11 attractions in this book, we made it through 5 bringing our grand total of attractions to 22 in 11 hours. Although we did not make the Top 10, we did make so many memories, added new friends, and made strategies to carry into the rally next year!

Thanks to Disneyland contributor Amanda for this post and photos!

Is Free Dining At Disney Worth It?

In case you haven’t heard, Disney has released free dining dates for this fall. Guests are eligible for free dining plans when they purchase a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and tickets with Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More Option.

This offer is valid at select Disney Resort hotels for the following arrival dates:

  • August 28 – October 2, 2015
  • October 25 – October 31, 2015
  • November 8 – November 19, 2015
  • December 15 – December 21, 2015

The dining plan offer depends on which resort level you are staying at.

So what’s the catch you ask? Why wouldn’t someone want free dining? As someone who has traveled to Disney twice with free dining offers, I personally know the value this offers to a family traveling on a budget. We have eaten like kings at Disney with the free dining, and I know that I would have been pinching pennies if we were paying out of pocket.

BUT…

Many people have come to expect free dining offers in the fall at Disney and with that comes larger crowds. Larger crowds mean more time waiting in lines and it’s harder to obtain reservations at your first choice restaurants. Disney also blocked out most of the month of October this year, which had historically been open for free dining. It’s a tough call on whether or not the value of the free dining is worth it anymore. The release dates for 2015 free dining caused the entire Disney reservation system to crash for hours on end because of the high demand, and there were lots of very unhappy guests who waited for hours to be told that their resorts had sold out of availability. It was not a good day for Disney.

For reference on the value of free dining, here is a breakdown of the prices for the dining packages at Disney.

PER ADULT, PER NIGHT
(adults are 10 years and older in Disney prices)
PER CHILD, PER NIGHT
(children are 3-9 years old in Disney prices)
Quick Service Dining

  • 2 quick-service meals
  • 1 snack
  • 1 refillable mug
$41.99 $16.03
Regular Dining

  • 1 table-service meal
  • 1 quick-service meal
  • 1 snack
  • 1 refillable mug
$60.04 $19.23
Deluxe Dining

  • 3 meals (any combination of table-service and quick-service)
  • 2 snacks
  • 1 refillable mug
$109.53 $29.86

Here is my personal experience:

We have an anniversary trip planned for December to Disney. I had already booked our reservations prior to the release date for free dining, and added the regular dining plan to our reservation. I figured that if free dining was released for our dates, then that would be wonderful. If not, at least I knew that our meals were already budgeted for, and it was one less thing I had to worry about paying out of pocket for. Our reservation totaled a little over $1600 for our vacation, including the dining plan. Our dining plan was $480.32 of our total. We are not doing park hopper passes on this trip.

When the free dining dates were released, I found out that our reservation was outside the booking window. Out of sheer curiosity, I played around with our reservation dates and checked out the prices. This is the first time that Disney has had the caveat that in order to qualify for free dining, guests must purchase either a Park Hopper pass or a Water Park Fun and more option. We are staying at a value resort, and I would have had to upgrade to the regular dining plan (personal preference here) and pay the difference, as well as upgrade our tickets to a Park Hopper pass. Because of this, I was actually going to end up paying more out of pocket, just for the “perk” of free dining. It took our $1600 vacation to just under $1800, so I would have ended up paying almost $200 more for free food.

It was an easy decision for me for this trip – no free dining. I’m looking for a room discount to come out later this summer that I can apply in order to save a little money. I’m hoping that I’ll have a good chance at getting the restaurant reservations I really want with the lower crowd numbers. All that being said, I just booked travel to Disney for 2 clients during the free dining dates. They were thrilled with the free quick service package offered to them, and, since they were already wanting park hopper passes, they weren’t paying more for something they didn’t need or want. They were willing to pay out of pocket for the two sit down dining reservations they want to get. Win/Win!

So, when considering the value of free dining at Disney, ask yourself if the discount is worth it to your family. In our case for this trip it wasn’t, but it might be perfect for your family! What are your thoughts on free dining at Disney? Let’s chat in the comments. ~A ºoº

Contributor Post: Whats in Your Bag?

It’s Amanda again!  I wanted to share a little bit about Whats in My bags when I travel to Disney!  We are a family of 4.  We travel with two strollers, two book bags, two kids, probably even two cars if we could!!

 

Strollers: We have carried our own, rented through Disney, rented offsite from 3 different companies as well as purchase one in the gift shop when we arrived.  I carry travel size Lysol and clorox wipes to disinfect the ones I rent, but all of them have been cleaned so we haven’t had issues with dirty strollers. All of them worked for what we needed, so it depends on your situation!  I recommend bringing your own if you have small children that like to eat while being strolled or connect via travel carrier car seats.  Most strollers I have found for rent are missing the attachment for the food tray and car seat carriers.

Renting Offsite – We have used Orlando Stroller Rental, Kingdom Rental and Magic Strollers.
Great things: Cheaper then at Disney parks, delivered to your hotel, you have it your whole trip, kids can be wheeled out while sleeping after a long night at the parks, Comfortable, Extra storage area underneath. Downfalls: You have to collapse them to get in bus/car/tram/train (or leave at station), Reserve in advance – may not have them available once you arrive.

Renting at Disney – Hard plastic so not as comfortable, but you can get one on a whim if your kids gets tired.  You can get a multiple day ticket so its cheaper per day to rent one for the length of your stay.  You can leave them at the train station and get a new one at the next stop.  You can leave them at the park end of day…so less to keep up with. I recommend these for older, larger kids.  You will see 10 year olds in strollers, adults taking naps in them, so don’t think your child is too old for a stroller, that’s a LOT of walking for kids. If you don’t want to drag them around….stroll them to let them relax at least one day of the vacation!

Buying one in the giftshop – This happened last time because I forgot to reserve a stroller so tried to get one on the trip down and EVERY rental company was sold out!  Both of my children can not fit in a double stroller (and be comfortable) so we figured instead of renting two hard plastic buggies it was better to buy an umbrella stroller there.  So that $40 in the gift shop, still saved us more money then if we rented one! It was perfect for toddler and above, but with younger kids you need that storage space!  Then end of trip you can give it to another family, take it home and use it or whatever else you need to do with it!

Bookbags – We take a lot of stuff because you never know with kids and adults what is going to be needed….ok, “I” take a lot of stuff…My husband gripes about it 🙂 But we have used almost everything I pack, so it comes in handy!
Autograph item(s) and pens/markers, Trading Pins, Change of clothes for little ones, Water bottles/Thermos cups (For the free ice water you can get), Clip on fans and Mister Fans if its going to be hot, Sunscreen, Clip on cooler bag to keep leftovers or waters cool, extra shoes/socks on rainy days or after water rides, Camera, Batteries, Pain Medicine, Snacks, Mio or flavor packets for water,  Ziploc bags to keep things dry or leftover food, Vaseline and Band-aids for blisters, Ponchos, Bag to cover strollers, Jackets, Phones and Phone chargers, Games for kids, Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes, Body Splash or Deodorant for all those odors you may smell in line….those that have been, you know what I am talking about!! With younger ones – You can pack bread and get packets of PB and J and make them sandwiches in the park.  Carry single serve chips and apple sauce too for a easy meal! For Babies – Diapers, Wipes, disposable mats for changing in bathrooms, don’t forget bottles for babies – I used the drop-in bottles and carried bottle wipes to clean the nipple and used a new liner each time.  A lot less to keep up with! They have Baby centers in each park to help with some supplies and feeding, rocking but try to carry everything you need in-case they are out of something or its not convenient to where you are. Now with all this stuff we carry we break it down into two bags.  Our valuables and things we would need for bathroom stops stay with us at all times, the other items we typically leave in the stroller in the other bag so we aren’t weighted down the whole day!

Suitcases – Florida weather can be hot, cold, rainy or beautiful!  It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, you are never guaranteed perfect weather! If you are travelling Oct – April I recommend at least a light jacket because some nights it can get cooler even if you were wearing shorts that day the wind can make you cold! Just because you are travelling in December….doesn’t mean you must take Eskimo suits and all pants and long sleeves…..We have wore shorts MANY times in December and it was plenty warm for it!!  We have packed for warm weather and it get colder at night than we expected and had to go buy several Disney Sweatshirts so either plan ahead or bring extra money to purchase in the park. If you are onsite you will probably have a mini-fridge in your room.  So get waters and capri suns for great pick me ups! Swimsuit and floaties- ALWAYS bring your swimsuit, kids swim year round so don’t leave your tikes out….they may jump in fully clothed if you forget! Shoes – Bring extra shoes for everyone!  With that much walking your feet will be screaming at you so get your best, broken in & comfortable, shoes you have and bring an extra pair to alternate with.  Coins and Detergent/dryer sheets – With kids expect messy clothes, accidents and laundry.  There are laundry rooms onsite if you need them, but bring plenty of coins!! Pop-Up Hampers – they fold flat but are great at holding dirty clothes. Snacks or Breakfast items for your room, Dry Erase Board (this was fun last time to leave thank you notes with Mouse-Keeping). Fan – If your kids need white noise to go to sleep with or the rooms just don’t get cool enough for you, bring a fan! Stuffed animals and Disney toys for the rooms, and all the Princess gear you have at home because your daughter will want to be a princess like all the other girls she sees, so plan ahead and bring stuff from your house!

 

Ok Thats about all I can think of for now.  Have fun packing!!

 

Guest Contributor: Trish (Lucky to be a Florida Resident!)

kids

Hi, everybody! My name is Trish, and I love nearly all things Disney. I grew up an hour from Magic Kingdom, so my middle school and high school years held dozens of day trips to the parks. As a teenager, my bedroom was decorated in black, white, and red with classic Mickey bedsheets and accents. Does it get much more “fan” than that? It wasn’t until recently that I was able to take my family to the parks for the first time. My husband, Wade, hadn’t been since he was a child. I thought Disney was fun when I was younger, but nothing beats seeing the Magic through the eyes of my little ones! Emery is 3 years old, and Mickey Mouse is her character of choice. She’s not much of a “princessy” girl, but in recent weeks, Tangled has not left the DVD player, so maybe she’s coming around a little. Ezra is 15 months old, and though he doesn’t speak much, a regular activity for him is requesting his mouse ears be put on his head (over and over and over….and over), so I think he’s a classic Mickey fan himself. The Toy Story movies are some of our family’s favorites, and my husband is a big Cars fan (and has been accused of sounding a little like Mater). 

kids2We celebrated my littles’ October birthdays this past year with a week at Disney World and immediately upon return starting planning our next trip. We are only 4-5 hours from Orlando, so weekend trips are not unreasonable for us, plus we get to take advantage of some great Florida Resident specials.

 I’m so excited to be contributing to The Mouse and the Monorail, and I can’t wait to share more of my Disney side!

Guest Contributor: Amanda-Slightly Addicted

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.

image1

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!)

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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!

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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’s Bears

Hey howdy hey, it’s Friday again!! We hope you’ve had a great week enjoying our coverage of Disney’s Animal kingdom while celebrating Earth day. On Wednesday, we celebrated Earth day by meeting some sweet friends to see Disney Nature’s new movie Bears. And I’d like to take today to chat just a bit about it.

First, I’d like to say that no matter how old you are, you’ll always have Disney firsts. And seeing Bears in the theater was a first for me because that’s the first Disney Nature movie I’ve seen. I really didn’t know what to expect either. Was it going to be completely boring and worse than those documentaries we had to watch at school? Was it going to be too long and my girls not last through the whole movie? Well, I asked myself those questions and answered them with a resounding, “we’ll see”! Haha! Sometimes you just gotta try something new.

I’m so glad we went! This was an incredibly sweet story and is enjoyable. Just know that you’re not going to see the winter soldier; you will see action, but it’s not going to be as intense. Lol!!

Bears follows a Mother bear and her two newborn cubs throughout their first year of life. It’s got plenty of “they’re so cute!” moments as well as “oh no! what’s gonna happen?!” moments. And overall, it’s just a terribly sweet story of a big lovable Momma Bear who will do anything to keep her cubs safe.

Another thing I worried about was runtime. I knew my girls wouldn’t want to sit there and watch a non-cartoon for too long, and wondered if they’d last. Thankfully, they did! The movie was ending right about the time that all 4 kiddos in our party started to get up and move around. 78 minutes is just about right.

Photo Apr 25, 3 02 23 PMThis is them roaring! ^_^

I’d recommend anyone with kids who love to learn to definitely take them to see this movie. If only there was a reality show like this, then I’d be able to catch-up with Scout and Amber in Season 2! Haha!

 

Well, thanks for following along and we’ll see you all again next week! ~M °o°

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!

giraffe

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.
tree

 

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

Top 10 Disney Movies In Our House (This Week)

We have two boys in our house, so the amount of princess time I get is very limited. I’ve been very excited in the past few years that Disney has made the princess world boy friendly by featuring lead male characters such as Eugene in Tangled and Kristoff  in Frozen. It definitely makes surviving as the solo female in the house a little easier!  With the boys ranging from 2 ½ to 7 ½ , I always like to have movies playing that are age appropriate for both kiddos, not too old for Roo to enjoy, and not too babyish for Tigger to enjoy. I also like for them to watch movies that I watched as a kid, and even have Tigger liking The Little Mermaid, (though he will deny it all day long!)

 So with that in mind, I came up with our current Top 10 list for Disney movies in our house.  Here we go….in no particular order, mostly because I can’t rate Disney movies. I love them all!

aladdin

frozen

Lion KIng

Monsters Inc

MU

nemo

ratatouille

Robin Hood

Tangled

toy story

After reviewing my selections, it seems like Pixar and I have a thing. Gotta love ‘em! Did I miss any of the favorites in your house? Leave me a comment below letting me know the favorite Disney movies in your house. Toodles! °o° ~A

 

Top Toys For Boys

Hiya pals! Today I’m talking toys – specifically boy toys! In case you don’t know, I’m mom to Tigger (7 ½ years old) and Roo (2 ½ years old), so toys around our house fall in one of two categories: things Roo can play with (age appropriate) and things Roo thinks he can play with (everything that belongs to Tigger.) I prefer toys in our house to be generally quiet, mostly because with two boys my house is loud enough without adding annoying toys to the mix, and battery free because I can never keep fresh batteries on hand. I also like for my boys to have toys that they can use their imagination with, and it’s even better if it is something they can play with together! So here go a few fun ideas for the boys in your life!

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Roo loves Mickey Mouse and the clubhouse crew, and his imagination is always in overdrive. How cute would this Mickey Mouse Fire Rescue set be, paired with the Mickey Mouse toy cell phone, and plane ride-on toy? Almost every boy is into pirates, and I came across the Jake and the Never Land pirate ship, as well as the Mickey Mouse Pirates of the Caribbean ship. Both of these would be a huge hit in my house. Roo also loves trucks, and the Mater trucks would entertain him for a long time. For Planes fans in your house, the Huffy 14 inch Planes bike would be great for a little boy just learning  to ride a bike.

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Tigger is definitely into the superhero genre right now, and the Captain America Stealthfire Shield, Hulk Action figure and Spider-Man Action Figure would be a big hit with him. He is just now starting to get into Star Wars, and I have a feeling that the Darth Vader Voice Changer Helmet by Hasbro will be making an appearance in our house around August in time for Tigger’s birthday.

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We also love to have board games on hand in our house, and these Disney games look like so much fun. I’m definitely going to be getting the Disney “Eye Found It” hidden picture game and “Beat the Parents” board game for the boys to challenge Jeremy and myself, and Roo would love the Disney Jr. version of Guess Who and Jake and The Never Land Pirates “Who Shook Hook?” Game.

And though it’s not a board game, we are definitely going to be adding the Disney Infinity Starter Pack to our home entertainment system. Meredith has me convinced that it’s a must do for the entire family, and Tigger is definitely excited about it!

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So that’s my roundup for today. Do y’all have any of these toys? Any other recommendations? We are always looking for fun Disney ideas for our family! And remember if you’d like to purchase any of the toys featured in yesterday and today’s posts, you can find them over on our MMM’s favorite toys pinterest board.

Have a great day and tune in for Meredith’s post tomorrow with a follow-up about Disney Infinity and she wants you to help! Head over to our facebook page and ask her any questions you may have regarding Disney Infinity and she’ll do her best to include that info tomorrow! Or if you don’t want to post directly to our fanpage, you can always PM us asking to join our Memory Makin’ Moms secret group where you can freely post questions and Disney-related things without worrying about everyone of your friends seeing! Either way, be sure to help make this post as informative and pertinent to what you all want to know as possible. We want to help and share the Disney magic to all our Memory Makin’ Moms!  °o° ~A