Must Have Halloween Treats at Disneyland

Now that Halloween time is in full swing, I can share with you the best Halloween treats at Disneyland! In just the few weeks these special foods have been available, I’ve created a list of my top favorites.

Must Have Halloween Treats at Disneyland

Nearly every dining location has some special Halloween treat, so there’s a lot to choose from.Halloween Time at Disneyland is so much fun! One of the best parts is the food! Check out our list of the best Halloween treats at Disneyland so you'll know before you go!

Pumpkin Spice Brittle

If you’re a fan of peanut brittle and pumpkin seeds, then this is the treat to you! Each 6 oz. bag is available in Disneyland and DCA, and annual pass discounts are available! This is a great treat on the go or to take home as a souvenir to enjoy later!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Milkshake

I found out about this treat through a post on Instagram and instantly knew I had to try it! Because my friend likes caramel, I had extra added to the shake. Regardless, this is a sweet treat for all pumpkin spice and caramel lovers alike! You can find this shake at Ghirardelli and annual pass discounts are accepted!

Pumpkin Spice Churro

Pumpkin spice churros are a great Halloween treat at DisneylandIn case you haven’t caught on, I love pumpkin spice and apparently so does Disney! There are definitely a large number of pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavored treats! Disney churros are already the best, so you can imagine how delicious these pumpkin spice ones taste! These can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel along with many other amazing goodies! Unfortunately, annual pass discounts are not accepted at the Cozy Cone Motel.

Campfire S’mores Funnel Cake

Smore's Funnel Cake is a delicious Halloween treat at Disneyland.You didn’t think everything would be centered about pumpkin did you? This delicious funnel cake combines the best aspects of S’mores and a traditional funnel cake! It’s great for sharing with your family and friends! You can find this funnel cake at the Stage Door Café! Annual pass discounts are accepted at this location!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Halloween treats at Disneyland include pumpkin cheesecake.This is my last pumpkin item, I promise! I thought this would be my number 1 item as this has been my favorite treat in prior years! My favorite dessert is cheesecake so naturally pumpkin cheesecake is my go-to! I found this cheesecake at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, but it is available around both parks! Also, annual pass discounts are accepted!

Spider Silk Ice Cream Sandwich

Spider Ice Cream is a cool Halloween treat at Disneyland.This was very tough decision between the top 2 treats! This ice cream sandwich is composed of a black macaron with charcoal-tart cherry spun ice cream topped with popping candy and raspberry sauce! It was almost too pretty to eat! This delicious treat can be found at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream; which is where you can also find the Kitchen Sink sundaes referenced in my Ice Cream blog! Annual pass discounts are not accepted here!

Spoke-y Cone Macaron

Drumroll please, my favorite treat of the season can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel! The Spoke-y Cone Macaron is filled with marshmallow buttercream and candy corn. I was afraid it was going to be too sweet, but after my second one, I was sold! This was definitely number one! I highly recommend you try this macaron! As mentioned, Cozy Cone Motel does not have annual pass discounts.

Although, this is a very small taste of the food offerings at the Disneyland Resort. I hope this helps guide you if you are unsure of what to try! I have not been able to try any of the savory treats, but some of the items on my radar were the “Ghost”-ly Pepper Nachos, Bison Blue Cheeseburger, and Dragon’s Breath Tacos! Click here for a full list of the Halloween foods offered at the Disneyland Resort! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and have the chance to try some of these items on your next visit!

Disneyland Pin Trading Tips and Ideas

Did you know Disney parks are not all rides and shows and meeting Mickey? As you’ve gone throughout the parks, ever notice cast members wearing lanyards and sporting a variety of pins on them? Pins have always been a part of the Disney parks, but pin trading didn’t become popular until 1999. Pin trading is one of my favorite things to do when I visit Disneyland, but I love that I can also trade when I visit Walt Disney World! Here’s some things you need to know if you’ve considered pin trading on your Disney trip!Pin trading can be so much fun! We've got tips on what it is, how to do it, and what you need to get started. Make this part of your next Disney vacation fun!

Disneyland Pin Trading Tips and Ideas

First, for those of you who may have never heard of pin trading, or have been curious about it, there are some etiquette guidelines you should know! Guests can trade up to two Disney pins per cast member; this includes pin boards as well! Pins should be in good condition and able to be traded. You can’t trade a pin that is already on the cast member’s lanyard or board! For a full list of pin trading etiquette click here.Disneyland Pin Trading Tips

How to Get Started

Next, you may be wondering where do you begin? Many of Disney’s stores offer pin starter packs, some with lanyards and some without! If you’d like to choose your lanyard, I would suggest a pin starter pack that doesn’t include a lanyard. There are stores solely dedicated to pin trading where you can purchase just about any pin you want! Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, Attractions, Villains, Tsum Tsum, you name it, Disney has it!

The Pins

Also, not all pins have to be traded! In addition to trading, I like collecting pins such as Limited Edition (LE) or mystery pins that I can purchase in the stores. Each month new pins are released that are a part of specific sets. Pins are also released for different events or seasons, such as Mickey’s Halloween Party or the return of Fantasmic! However, if you’re not looking for super fancy pins, the walls are lined with other less expensive options!Disneyland Pin Trading Tips

Ready to Trade

Finally, you have your pins, you have your lanyard, and you’re ready to go! Now the fun can begin! As you go throughout your day in the parks, keep an eye out for cast members with lanyards! Or if you’re doing your souvenir shopping some registers might have a pin board behind the counter, simply ask the cast members to show you the pins so you can trade. In addition to the parks, the hotels and Downtown Disney offer locations to trade as well.Disneyland Pin Trading Tips

Quick Tips

  • Cast Members may have some pins put on backward; these are “mystery trades.”
  • Some cast members may ask you Disney trivia before you trade just for added fun!
  • Certain stores may have pins displayed in boxes which you may not readily see, so when in doubt just ask a cast member if they have any pins for trading!

Disneyland Pin Trading TipsYou can trade with other guests in the parks, though they don’t have to trade with you! But it’s great to see what pins everyone else has in their collections! As your collection grows, you can purchase pin books to store and display all your pins! Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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

Where To Find the Perfect Disney T-Shirt

Ways to Score the Perfect Disney T-Shirt

Let’s be honest here, no Disney vacation is complete without some sort of Disney-inspired fashion. Whether you’re subtly rocking your inner geek with light saber earrings or boldly proclaiming you’re one of 57 other family members on a reunion vacation, the chances are pretty likely you’re going to give your travel attire that special Disney flair. And what better way for us to share all this Disney t-shirt acquisition knowledge, than by giving you a list of our favorites?! Before you get going with this post, be sure you’re read the first part of this post over here. Well, go on. I’ll wait.

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Now that you’ve read the 4 ways to find cute Disney shirts, let’s get on with the update! I’m going to start by adding to what we mentioned in that first blog post.

Buy One!

Shops Sarah mentioned above:

A few more worthy of noting are:

DIY

Wait, don’t go running and screaming just yet! There are LOTS of way to make a super cute Disney t-shirt and most of them can save you some money. Saving money is great if you’re planning a trip to any Disney destination! The wonderful thing about making shirts for yourself and your family/friends is that it’s so customizable. Everyone can have their favorite characters and colors, and Uncle Jerry can have his moisture-wicking active wear too! Seriously though, making shirts on your own is a great way to really show off your Disney favorites.

The Mouse and the Monorail team

Don’t just limit yourself to favorite characters either! Maybe your kiddo loves Space Mountain? Why not make a super fun Space Mountain shirt?! Another great thing about DIY Disney shirts, is that there are so many different ways to make them.

The Pirates League Disney T-shirt at Magic Kingdom

Here are a few of my favorite ways to make Disney shirts and all of these techniques can be easily searched on pinterest with countless results:

  • Silhouette Cameo (or Cricut if that’s your jam!) and siser easyweed and glitter htv
  • Screen Printing
  • Freezer Paper
  • Tie-Dye
  • Fabric Paints/Markers
  • Bleach/Bleach PensTie Dye Disney T-shirts

Be sure to check out our pinterest boards for more fun DIY ideas. Check back with us here for another fabulous DIY shirt tutorial soon!

Disneyland Planning: Best Tips from an Annual Passholder

Disneyland Planning 101 should include pin trading activities.

Disneyland Planning 101

What comes to mind when you think of Southern California? Hollywood? Beaches? Hipsters? Trendy foods? Does Disneyland make the top of your list? Growing up a Disney fanatic, Disneyland is at the top of my list. I would consider Disneyland my second home, and, since I have been an Annual Passholder for the bulk of my life, I would say I know the park fairly well. I’m happy to share my opinions about Disneyland Planning in hope that they will help you have the perfect Disneyland day.Disneyland Planning is a lot different than Disney World planning! Come read our tips before your next west coast mouse visit. Disnyeland planning can be easy and fun!

Rides

Having a plan of attack is the best way to start your Disney adventure. No matter what time of day you arrive, getting a FastPass is key! Not sure which ride you should get a FastPass for? Check out the Disneyland app for up to-date wait times and FastPass distribution times! On my perfect day, I head to Space Mountain (currently Hyperspace Mountain) to grab a FastPass and then head over to Indiana Jones. My day is not complete unless I have ridden my favorite ride, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. If a high-speed, roller coaster ride in the dark is not your thing, no problem! Disneyland has rides for all ages.Disneyland Planning 101

Food

No Disney trip is complete without food. This is an understatement for me. As a foodie, I probably know more about where to eat and what to eat than anything else. Popcorn, ice cream, churros, and the beloved Dole Whip are just a few of the many Disney must-haves! I could spend an entire post just on the numerous dining options. What I can say is I enjoy switching up where to eat every trip I go. Disneyland provides a wide variety of cuisines from American to Cajun to Italian to Mexican and everything in between.Disneyland Planning 101 includes knowing where and what to eat.

Pin Trading

I am a huge pin trading fan, and I would highly suggest everyone try it out! I find that pin trading adds a little extra variety to your day. Whenever I don’t feel like going on rides all day, I will bring my pins and trade all over the various locations in the park. You can also admire and even trade with fellow collectors in the park. If you’re not sure where to find them, they’re usually hanging out around one of the many pin stores.Disneyland Planning 101 should include pin trading activities.

Plan Another Visit

There is so much one can do in a single Disneyland trip. No two trips are the same! Between character meet and greets, parades, fireworks, rides, and shows, there are plenty of fun-filled activities to fill your day. A perfect Disneyland day is not complete without a classic castle picture to commemorate your day at the Happiest Place on Earth. Couldn’t fit it all in in your one day? That just means it’s time to plan another trip!Disneyland Planning 101 iconic castle photo.What would your perfect day at Disneyland look like?

 

Thanks to Amanda (@pandaavw) for sharing your Disneyland tips with us!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please let us know! Don’t forget you can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

 

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?

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.

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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 

Top 11 Most-Used Excuses for Not Taking a Disney Vacation

Hey howdy hey it’s Saturday! Today I’m going to take a moment to discuss something that we MMMs feel very strongly about. You see, we all know that everyone knows we love Disney and probably a bit too much. But I’d like to discuss exactly WHY we love all things Disney, especially vacationing at Walt Disney World.

 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re the type that loves to vacation at Disney as well, but I’d really like to address the folks that always have a reason to not go. We’ve heard a million different excuses over the years, and I’d like to discuss the main ones that always seem to come up. So here it is: my top 11 (yes 11, because there were just that many that we felt really needed addressing) list of WDW excuses.

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1- Its too expensive. Let’s just get this one over because it’s definitely one of the most over-used reasons for not planning a family vacation to WDW. And truth is, yeah it DOES cost money. I’m not going to sugar-coat this fact. It’s not a cheap vacation, but neither are most all other vacations. And to be honest, as our MMM fans have stated, there are plenty of ways to go and save money. Do a little research and find deals for room and dining discounts. I promise there are deals out there, and they can save you enough money that your kid’s dream Disney vacation might actually cost less than that fancy cruise you’ve been wanting to go on. Check out our FB fan page, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you want some help finding these deals! Part of the Disney magic is everyone helping spread the pixie dust around!

 

2- I can only go if I pay it off first. This one is very close to the first. But here’s the thing, as my fabulous MMM fans have said over in our private group (send us a pm if you’d like to join!), there will always be financial problems and honestly, your kids will only be kids for so long. I’ve known several parents to say that they regret not taking their kids when they were kids because they just couldn’t at the time. Truth is, where there’s a will there’s a way. If you’re wanting your family to have an amazing Disney vacation, just book it! Somehow things will come together and even if you don’t end up at every fancy restaurant or do every extra park perk, you’ll still have a magical vacation filled with loads of lifelong memories. I promise! We had a MMM fan suggest doing the Disney Visa card with 0% interest and paying as you can. That’s much easier than paying all out of pocket and much more fun the completely missing out because you think there’s just no way to do it.

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3- I’m too old. Okay seriously?! This one makes me laugh so hard! I realize I’m not “old, old” (I’m 33) but I’m old enough to know that being “old” is completely irrelevant when it comes to WDW. One of the beautiful things about Disney parks is that Walt himself set out on a mission to create a park that was fun for everyone, not just the kids. The very idea for Disneyland actually came while he was sitting on a park bench eating peanuts and watching his girls on a carousel. His dream was to have everyone involved in the magic, and boy did he succeed!! Even if you don’t ride the attractions, there’s plenty to see and do to keep everyone in your family happy. Believe me, I’ve traveled with my family and our ages ranged from 11mos to 84!! And you better believe that my grandmother had just as much fun as my kids did!

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4- My kids are too young. Okay, this one is a personal pet peeve of mine. I’m not going to lie and say that taking a baby anywhere at all is easy, but the benefits and memories far outweigh the hassles of bringing your baby. Personally, I don’t believe there’s any age that’s too young. And even better, if they’re under three, they get in for free and can still ride, see, and do loads of things!! Most of the rides have no height requirement and even if you’ve got your infant there, baby can ride too! And the characters and Cast Members love seeing little ones there and make an effort to make things easy for both babies and parents. Each park even has its own baby center stocked with everything any parent would need as well as luxurious changing stations and a play/rest area for Moms and little ones who need a break from the heat outside.

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5- My kids will never remember it since they’re too young. This one stems from the last one and honestly is just as absurd. First, if you think you’re going strictly for them, well then loosen up and make things fun for yourself too. Because honestly, taking a small baby or toddler is actually MORE fun for the parent because, even if they don’t remember it, you will!!! I have the best memories of both my girls as toddlers waving their fat little hands to the characters as they rode past at the (now retired) “Celebrate the Magic” parade. And all the little smiles and excitement when they saw Mickey, Minnie, and all his pals. It makes my heart melt just thinking about it. So, come on now, do it for yourself!! Furthermore, you’ll leave with loads of photos that will be so fun to share with them when they’re old enough to know what you did to make them happy even before they could remember it. Lastly, I know several people personally who have taken their 2yos and those 2yos could tell you every detail about their favorite parts of the trip. My 3yo knows not only what rides were her favorites, but can even sing the songs associated with them!

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6- My kids are already too old. On the flip side of the last one, I assure you that this one is just as nonsense. I wasn’t able to go to WDW for the first time until I was 20 and I went with my parents. And while I wasn’t a kid anymore, it didn’t make it any less magical. It just made me want to go back more to experience more of what I had never seen before. Like I said earlier, there are loads of things to do for all age groups and older kids will find just as much joy as the littles will. Don’t miss out just because you think that it’s just for 5yo’s! (And yes that’s me at 20 with my future husband! Wow, now I really do feel old!)

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7- I went 30 years ago and hated it so I’m never going back. One of the things that Walt enjoyed most about building Disneyland was the fact that, unlike his animations, if there was something he didn’t like, he could always change it. (Which is one of the reasons he became obsessed with the park and really became detached from animation because once a movie was completed and released, he still saw things that he could improve, but could no longer go back and fix). Just because you may not have enjoyed it way back when does not mean you won’t now. There’s a lot that’s changed in the 43 years that the Magic Kingdom has been open. The New Fantasyland area actually just opened it’s final attraction earlier this year, and they are constantly adding more and taking things away that are no longer enjoyable/relevant. Give Disney a chance again! Especially if you’re a food lover. I love the attractions, etc but I go for the food! And I’m almost positive it’s way better than it was 30+ years ago. Additionally, you know what you like. Do a little research on our blog as well as Disney’s website to seek out the things that will excite you most and make it a point to do those things. Don’t just go with no idea of what to do and say you hated it just because you had no idea what to do or where to go. And ask us questions! We’ll be glad to answer any you might have to the best of our ability.

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8- I hate amusement parks/rides. Alright, hmm, how to tackle this one. Honestly, this is the one that most people will fight the worst no matter what you say. To be straight, the Disney parks are (like I’ve stated above) created for everyone. They are in no way like Six Flags or other thrill ride parks. There really is something to see and do for everyone regardless if you like rides or not. Also, it is not a carnival. You will not have to use tickets to ride all the rides or play all the games. Your park admission includes almost everything. And if you book with free dining, even your food is covered! There are shows, games (and not like rigged carnival games), and much more to explore and enjoy. So, get out of your comfort zone a bit and open yourself up to a most magical experience. If you do, you’ll finally understand why so many people love Disney parks.

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9- Florida is too hot! Really folks? Though it may not be a wintry wonderland like Walt’s hometown of Marcilene, MO, Florida has seasons as well, and the fall and winter months are great times to go. Not only do those months provide cooler weather, but they’re usually lower crowds (aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years weeks) but they also provide super fun experiences like Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. They even make it snow on Main Street!!

 

10- This one’s for military families specifically: I’ve heard it’s impossible to get into Shades of Green (the military resort) so we’ve just never gone. Not only is it not difficult to get in, but even if there isn’t availability for when you want to go, don’t miss out on an amazing family vacation because of one resort being full. The value resorts offer everything you’d need at reasonable rates and are on property with included transportation to and from the parks.

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11- Disney World/Land is too far away. This one is just laughable because if this is your excuse for not taking an awesome vacation, then chances are you’ve never traveled anywhere outside your home state. And if you have traveled outside your home state and are still using this excuse, then just go ahead and explain to your kids that you don’t really want to go to Disney and just don’t have a better excuse. Truth is, traveling anywhere for an amazing vacation is going to take either a long drive (ours is 8 hrs to WDW) or a flight. I totally get that long car rides can be rough with kids, but with a little planning it’ll be no problem! We’ve even driven there overnight and let the kids sleep the whole time and then magically wake up at WDW! If you have to drive during the day though, just pick up some fun Disney activity books and check Pinterest for fun ways to make the time pass. There are loads of road trip games that can be Disney themed to make them extra fun and build the anticipation without fighting and screaming the whole way there. And don’t sweat the stops! If you have to stop for potty breaks, then just stop! It doesn’t have to be a hassle! It’s all about your own attitude. The kids will be happy if you’re happy.

 

So, there you have it. My list of the top 11 most-used excuses for not going to Disney parks. So quit making excuses and book your family a most magical Disney vacation now!! ~M °o°

Strollers 101 at Walt Disney World

s2The great stroller debate is a very common issue facing people planning a trip to Walt Disney World with small kids. We have been to Disney World twice in the past 2 years, once with a stroller and once without. We didn’t take the stroller on our first trip, because our oldest son, Tigger (not his real name in case you are new around here!) was old enough to walk. I had budgeted to rent a stroller from Disney if we needed to, but with the exception of one night where he flat out fell asleep in the middle of the street during Wishes, he kept up like a champ. For our second trip, we took our 2 year old son Roo (also, not his real name), and we did take our full size stroller. I had done tons of research from renting from Disney, renting from an outside company and having a stroller delivered to our hotel, or just bringing our own. We have flown to Disney for both trips, so that was also a factor when making our decision. Here are a few thoughts you need to consider when deciding on what stroller situation works for your family:

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1. How comfortable is your stroller? The Disney strollers are hard plastic and don’t recline at all. I knew that if we had any prayers of Roo taking a nap in the stroller, that we had to make it comfy for him. His personal stroller reclined, was soft and very comfortable for him.

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2. Is your little one flexible enough to go with an unfamiliar stroller? Roo was very used to his stroller, so I didn’t want to rock the boat and throw a hitch in my touring plans by renting a stroller.

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3. How are you planning on traveling to and from the parks? Is your stroller easy to travel with? Will you be riding Disney transportation? If you take a stroller on the Disney bus system, you have to collapse the stroller down completely to allow more people on the bus. Is this easy to do with your stroller? We test drove my sister’s jogging stroller to see if we would like it for our Disney trip and decided against it because of how long the stroller system felt to me. When space is limited (such as in crowds at WDW) I didn’t want to feel like I was driving a limousine down Main Street when navigating with the stroller. If you are flying to/from Disney, you can gate check your stroller right before you board the airplane, and it will make it much easier to get to your terminal with a child strapped in as opposed to them running like a wildebeest stampede through the airport.

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4. Is your stroller extremely valuable? In case  you didn’t know, thousands upon thousands of people visit Disney parks daily. Most are honorable and honest however there are always the bad apples that enjoy ruining other peoples days. Theft can happen at Disney, even under the best circumstances. If you park a $500 stroller outside Space Mountain and you come back and it is gone, you are going to be devastated and very, very angry. Keep that in mind when deciding your stroller plans.

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5. Does your stroller have good storage space? You can take food and drink into Disney. Make sure your stroller has a basket underneath for storing your diaper bag or backpacks, cup holders, and anything else you deem worthy of taking into the park.

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6. Will your little one use a stroller enough to make it worthwhile? Only you can determine the answer to this question. The average person walks 7-10 miles per day at Disney. That’s a whole lot of steps for little legs. Unless you plan on carrying your child around the parks in the blazing heat, I highly recommend bringing a stroller, otherwise you are going to be moving at a snails pace through the parks. And also, sometimes even older kids just get worn slap out from all the walking. Just keep that in mind.

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After you determine which stroller works best for your family, here are a few stroller recommendations to make your life easier in the parks.

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1. Make your stroller easily identifiable. Disney has designated stroller parking areas, generally indicated by a roped off area or signage around the park, and Cast Members (CM) frequently moves the strollers around within the parking area to make room for new strollers. Imagine walking up to a stroller area and there are 50 strollers that look exactly like yours! We attach a personalized stroller sign to our stroller handle bar with zip ties.  You can either use a plastic sheet protector or laminate your sign to protect it from water. This way, even if our stroller has been moved by a CM, we can glance around and easily spot the “Wade Family” sign. You can also attach bright colored balloons, fabric, etc. Basically, anything to make your stroller stand out in a sea of strollers. Meredith designed a free download for our Memory Makin’ Moms fans that includes our QR codes to help you out during the day if you need anything. You can download it here.

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s3 2. Make your stroller harder to steal, and steal from. 99% of the time, this won’t be a problem. However, there is always that 1% that could really ruin a vacation. I bought a cheap, flexible combination bike lock and loosely locked the wheels together. If a CM needed to move my stroller, it could still be moved, it just would have looked insanely ridiculous to wheel outside the park. And PLEASE don’t leave valuables in your stroller at any time. Cameras, souvenirs, money, cellphones….just don’t do it. They will disappear and you will be very sad at your misfortune. And who wants to be sad on a Disney vacation?

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3. Make your stroller easy to transport. Keep things in a backpack or soft sided cooler in the basket under your stroller so you can just grab and go when it is time to collapse your stroller before loading onto a bus. The last thing you need is to be frantically trying to hold everything (and your kids) as you are boarding the bus.

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4. Make your stroller rain proof. Before your trip buy a $2.00 clear plastic shower curtain to keep in your stroller. Before leaving the stroller parking areas, if there is even a hint of a dark rain cloud, throw the shower curtain over the stroller and tuck it into the crevices. If a pop up shower occurs, and they do a lot in Florida, your stroller will stay nice and dry. If it keeps raining, you can even keep the shower curtain over the stroller as you wheel through the park, and your kiddo will stay nice and dry. You will feel like Super Mom. Trust me on this. Even a CM commented to me about what a genius idea it was. Let’s just say, I’m a Mama that does her research!

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5. Make your stroller fun and relaxing. You don’t want your child kicking and screaming when it is time to ride. Have snacks and drinks handy, and recline the seat back when it is nap time. A sleepy child is much easier to push through the parks than tote. Trust me on this!

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So those are my top stroller tips. I hope they help you on your next Disney vacation. Leave me a comment if you have any other tips that could help other Memory Makin’ Moms as they plan their trips. Toodles! ~A ºoº

Meredith is Rockin’ Her #Disneyside!

So our sweet Meredith pulled off the ultimate surprise for her kids yesterday when they loaded up the car and headed to Disney World for the Rock Your Disney Side: 24 hour event! And yes, they are going to rock their Disney side for the full 24 hours! So cool that Meredith and her hubby Tim pulled off this spur-of-the-moment trip in less than 5 days! Even though Meredith is going to be super busy soaking up the fun in the parks, she wanted to share the fun with all of us stuck at home and work and so she will be posting to instagram during her trip. You can follow her Cooperspective instagram account to see pictures and videos to follow the fun!

And she is even about to go ride the brand new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Fantasyland! Sarah and I are so excited for her, and hope they have an amazing Disney vacation! ~A °o°

meredith

Ahoy Mateys!

So, this is the end of the school year.

And the end of baseball.

And nearing the end of our church mission classes for the summer.

And I’m swamped. At home. At church. At work.

So I don’t have much time to write out a lengthy post about how much I love Disney today.

And y’all know how much I love Disney anyhow.

But….

ship

I just booked a cruise on the Disney Dream for next September for our little fam, and my Mom, Dad, sister, BIL, 2 nephews and niece are coming along too!

Follow me on Pinterest as I plan a Disney cruise we will never forget!

See y’all later! ~a °o°