Monthly Archives: December 2016

4 posts

Express Transportation at Walt Disney World

Have you heard about Disney’s newest way to make a buck? Yep. They’ve discovered yet another way to get you to toss money their way!

Disney Transportation is a great perk for guests staying on property, guests who want to park hop and also guests who come onto Disney property to enjoy a meal at one of their fine restaurants. I’ve opted out of driving my own car in order to take advantage of the Disney transportation for years. It’s great! However, it’s a little bit slow and as we approach a major Holiday such as Christmas, the transportation services are always a little bit more crowded and a little bit slower.

Enter. Disney Uber. It’s not really called “Disney Uber” it’s actually called “Disney Express Transportation” and in my opinion, it’s worth EVERY PENNY and here are my top 5 reasons why!

1. VIP TREATMENT.
Yes, VIP! You’ve seen those guests being escorted around Disney property chatting with cast members like old friends, well… that could be YOU! Once your bus arrives, you are personally escorted from inside the park to backstage, loaded on a private bus and in 10-15 minutes you are back inside another park.

2. EMPTY AIR CONDITIONED BUS.
True, the bus is the same one you would ride with traditional Disney transportation, but the major difference is the crowd levels. The biggest amount of guests we rode with during our trip was about 6 people. This is especially great if you have strollers and young children. Cramming yourself into a crowded bus with a toddler (or 3) is NOT easy, but you do it because you want to experience as much Disney as possible!

Personally, I appreciated the VIP bus because we were able to spread out and feed our newborn comfortably while we went from park to park.

3. 10-15 MINUTE COMMUTE.
In order to maintain the 10-15 minute commute, the bus had to remain reliable. If the bus was scheduled to leave at 12:00 p.m. the bus left at 12:00 p.m. It was amazing! As an example, we went from Spaceship Earth inside Epcot at 12:00 p.m. to the FastPass Line of Rockin’ Roller Coaster inside Hollywood Studios by 12:10.

Ready to ROCK!

4. ONLY $15.00
If you’ve already invested in a Park Hopper Pass, then you want to take advantage of each day by being INSIDE the parks as much as possible. For an additional 15.00 per person, this program allows you to do that. Disney is expensive, we all know that and an additional 15 dollars per person can really add up, but in my opinion, this fee is something that should be in your budget planning.

On the last day of our Annual Pass we wanted to do the #4parkchallenge. Having the peace of mind that we’d be able to walk onto a bus to the next park at a specific time gave us the confidence to get in an extra line or two and ride some more rides before heading to our next park!

Heading Backstage in Animal Kingdom!

5. ONE TIME THROUGH SECURITY ALL DAY.
Yes, you read that right! Since you are literally being escorted from the park, to a bus and back into the parks you only have to go through security 1 time. This is especially helpful if you have babies on board, and require more bags and items.  During the Holiday’s you can spend 30-45 minutes just getting from your car into the park, it’s CRAZY! Who wants to spend their Disney day in security lines? Not this girl!

When would Disney Uber not be a good idea? Quite honestly, if you are traveling solo or with a small group without and bags, you might want to save your cash for a snack inside the park and go the traditional route of transportation for park to park. However, if you are in a hurry to get around the parks and make the most of your time INSIDE the park, Disney Express Transportation might be for you!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite Disney ride?

Stroller Free at Disney!

Over the last year, I can probably count on 1 hand a number of times we actually took a stroller into the Disney Parks. If you’ve ever been to Disney during a busy day, you’ve probably been run over by a stroller or two. As a mom or three very young children, please know it is not typically the intent of the stroller driver run into a person, and Main Street USA is one of the most frustrating sections in all of Disney Parks for someone with a stroller.


So, how do we conquer Disney with three kids 3 and under? 

1. Pack lightly!
If you have young children in diapers, there is no way around the need for a certain amount of diapers and snacks, here is what I tend to pack in my backpack.

  • Diapers 
  • Multiple Types of Snacks 
  • 2 Servings of Milk 
    • always saving one for them to drink on the way back to the hotel or car
  • Extra set of clothing

2. Baby Wearing!
The quickest way to get from place to place in the parks is by babywearing.  Our favorite baby carrier for this is the Lille Baby Airflow. You can wear it six different ways, is very breathable for the Florida heat, and even has a zipper pocket for your phone and keys. – This purchase has been worth every penny for our family!

3. Have a goal!
Before entering the park my husband and I like to take a few minutes to chat strategy. We go over our fast passes and decide what direction we will be going once inside the park.

This eliminates the stress of trying to “wing it” while chasing our three children. Since we are more relaxed we are able to experience the parks with our children.

4. Stay on property!
This isn’t an absolute necessity in my opinion, but it does help. Especially if you have very young children and would like to rest between morning fast passes and evening shows.

Sometimes, we just have to bring the stroller. 
For example, if we are planning a rope drop to wishes (or Happily Ever After) type of day. In situations like this, I find it best to park my stroller in the section of the park we are exploring and walk to a few rides. Grabbing the stroller only when we are moving to a new section of the park.


How about you, what are your tips for Disney with Kids? 

Best Christmas Lights in Miami

It’s hard to believe that Christmas will be here next week. December is such a busy time of the year for us, and since we have very young children, it’s a time I like to fill with magical memories and tradition.

One of my childhood traditions was to drive around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. Well, a lot has changed in the last 30 years and it seems to me that people just don’t decorate their homes outside like they used to, or do they?

For the last three years we have enjoyed visiting Christmas Castle here in Miami. Right in the middle of a neighborhood you will find a home and neighborhood beautifully decorated, complete with music, and a mailbox to send a letter to Santa if you so desire.

The light display is free to come too, but for the last 17 years they have been raising money for Autism Awareness. According to their website they have contributed about $8,500 to a local charity each year!

If you are interested in going with small children or in a group, I recommend you go early. There is an opening show right at 6:00, and the crowds are relatively small at that time so you will be able to see all the great details and take snap some pictures with limited photo bombers.

If you or your family is a little older, you might want to wait and go towards the end of the evening. I read on the website that they have a special farewell from Olaf at 10:00 p.m. 
One of my favorite things about going to the Christmas Castle is hearing all the Disney music and seeing all the Disney decorations. It’s obviously not as magical as the real thing, but it does the trick for getting you into the Holiday Spirit! 
So, if you’re looking for something fun to do one evening, head on over to the Christmas Castle! I hope you love it as much as we do! There is limited parking right at the home, but don’t be afraid to find a parking spot in the neighborhood and explore some of the other beautifully decorated homes. Just remember to be respectful, you are in a neighborhood after all. 
See more pictures on our Youtube Channel!
Christmas Castle
12331 SW 109 Terrace
Miami, FL 33186
*all opinions are my own, I am in no way affiliated with Christmas Castle. 

3 Tips for taking your Newborn to Disney

A Newborn…in DISNEY?

Yes, I took my newborn to Disney (more than once) and today I am going to share with you how I kept her safe and germ-free! I think the key to taking your newborn baby to Walt Disney World is confidence. If you feel confident about taking your child, go for it! Make memories, take photos and have a great time. If you are a little apprehensive about it, perhaps you might want to wait until they are a little older.

Tip # 1 – Wear your baby!

I don’t know why, but in my experience, if a baby is in a stroller people are more likely to breathe and touch them. However, if you have them tucked away nice and close to you in a baby carrier, people are more likely to give you some space! As an added bonus, baby wearing is beneficial to the emotional support of both mom and baby!

Here are some baby carriers that I recommend.* 

Tip # 2 – Be picky about where you change the diapers!

Walt Disney World has these AMAZING baby centers in each of the parks. It’s not always convenient to where you are located. However, if you have a young baby with you, it is worth the trip to the baby center. There are cast members inside cleaning up after each diaper change and can help you with anything you might need.

If you are in an emergency type (blow-out) situation, I recommend using a “companion” restroom. Your spouse and other children can come with you to help get your baby cleaned up and back out having a good time in a hurry. In my experience, not all of these restrooms have a changing table, but most of them do. Especially in Hollywood Studios.

Another thing you can do is bring a thick blanket to place over the changing table. Once you change your childs diaper, fold the blanket in such a way that the next time you need to change the diaper, your baby is only touching the clean side of the blanket.

Tip # 3 – Learn to feed and walk

Newborns have tiny tummies and need to eat often. My newborns always seem to take a LONG time to eat. So, instead of sitting on a bench feeding my baby, I learned how to breastfeed in a carrier. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little awkward at first but once you get the hang of it – you will be discreetly feeding like a pro! Be confident! If breastfeeding in the baby carrier isn’t your thing, you can also feed your child while on some of the slower moving rides – use your discretion.

If you need a comfortable place to feed your baby, there are lots of little private areas throughout the parks and there is even a private nursing room in each park! On a recent trip we had lots of family with us, so I went to the baby center and fed the baby before heading to the car.

You can also bottle-feed while you walk, the key is to walk slowly and always keep a visual on your baby, making sure their airways are not obstructed in any way.

 Bonus Tip

I was sure to keep babies hands covered. You can do this by putting the baby in one of those onesies with built-in mittens or buying some separate. I was sure to change her clothes throughout the day and not let the Characters get too close to photos.

We had such a lovely experience at Disney with our newborn, and I know you will too!

The Question of the day: How young were you on your first trip to Disney World?

More Magic!

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