Disney

21 posts

Preparing to Tent-Camp at Walt Disney World

Let’s go Camping!

Camping isn’t for everyone, but I can assure you camping at Disney just might one of the most fun experiences you can have. I grew up in girl scouts, and we would always camp at Walt Disney World at least one time a year. I have very fond memories of setting up tents, playing on the beach and just exploring.

5 Things I googled before our camping trip

Is “googled” a word? Regardless. I am no stranger to camping. I’ve camped at Disney, I’ve camped in the mountains of North Carolina and throughout Florida and Georgia for much of my childhood.  However, once you have children, it seems to be a whole new world of questions and preparations that need to happen.

So, here are five things I searched on google before packing for my camping trip to Walt Disney World.

1) Is Parking Free at Fort Wildness Campground?

Ever since WDW announced they were going to start charging all overnight guests parking, there has been a lot of uncertainty about fees and such online. I wanted to be sure we budgeted appropriately for our trip, so I checked it out.

The answer is Yes. 

Standard parking is still complimentary at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. If you want more information on the parking fees, you can check out this website.

2) Do I need to bring a Towel?

The answer is Yes.

Many of the resorts at Walt Disney World have complimentary towels at their pools. Additionally, if you are staying in a resort there are towels inside your room. Tent-Camping at Walt Disney World, however, you will need to bring your own towel.  Read more about it from the Disney Parks Mom’s Panel. 

3) What if a Hurricane Comes when I’m camping?

Read the Disney Hurricane Policy Here.

I’m scheduled to camp during the month of August. As a Florida native, I am all too familiar with the possibility of hurricanes. I am thankful that Disney does have a full policy to help their guests have the most magical experience possible. Just be sure to keep your eye on the weather during Hurricane Season.

4) Can I cook and clean my dishes at my campsite?

Yes. Each campsite has its own grill and water. You will want to bring your own supplies and dishpan though.

Find out more about the accommodations here.

5) Can I come earlier than 3:00 p.m. to the campground?

Yes.

Your campsite might not be ready. However, there is a parking lot available so you can park your car and then use Disney transportation to explore the property.

What other questions do you have about camping at Fort Wilderness, am I missing anything? 

If you want to check our Fort Wilderness but aren’t sure tent-camping is for you, try renting a cabin. These are perfect for families. You can also visit the resort and join in on some of the festivities such as the evening campfire, learn more about it here.

Disney Fan or Planning a Trip?

I invite you to join my Disney Fan’s facebook group.  This group is co-admined by my friend Keri from www.flipflopweekend.com in this group there are lots of opportunities to ask questions, share stories and just talk Disney. We’d love to have you join us! 

CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

Our Favorite Camping Gear

Our family has a few camping items, and continue to build our collection after each trip. (Read about our first camping trip here) Here are a couple of my favorites. These links are affiliate links if you decide to purchase it will cost nothing additional for you, but your support helps keep StorybookErin.com going.  I appreciate your consideration and support.

If you found this helpful, would you mind giving it a share? ⭐

Visiting The Animal Kingdom at Night!

Animal Kingdom After Dark

We recently traveled to Orlando on business, and on the first night we arrived I snuck over to the Animal Kingdom and met my Disney Blogger Pal Keri from flipflopweekend.com for about an hour of mischief and fun! You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in just a short period of time!

Keri and I moderate a FB group for Disney-Fans and bloggers to connect, and would love for you to be a part! We have a lot of fun and it’s a great resource for bloggers or families planning a trip to Walt Disney World.

JOIN HERE! 

This post may contain affiliate links, it costs nothing extra to use my link but I may receive a small commission with your purchase. I thank you in advance for your support.

Must-Do One

We entered the park about 1-hour before closing and headed straight to ride Everest! This is one of my all-time favorite rides at Walt Disney World, and my Number 1 MUST-DO inside the Animal Kingdom at night.  We did have a FP+ reservation, but to be honest, there was no wait for this ride.

There is something a little more exciting about riding roller coasters at night. I’ve always preferred it – can anyone else relate?

Must-Do Two

My second MUST-DO inside the Animal Kingdom at night is the Kilimanjaro Safari! This ride is fun for the whole family and in the evening, there are animals to be seen at every turn! Like these cute Bongos!

We happened to be on one of the last trucks of the evening, and our tour guide was so fun and informative. I highly recommend the Kilimanjaro Safari at night!

Must-Do Three

The third MUST-DO inside the Animal Kingdom at night is to enjoy the ambiance. The park has such a unique vibe after dark. I’d been wanting to find this instagram famous wall, and Keri was so gracious to help me find it!

If you want to find it yourself, look inside the Harambe Village – If you’re hungry I recommend any of the food stands in the village they are excellent! Our favorite menu item is the Grilled Chicken Skewer!

See the full menu here! 

There are no fireworks inside the Animal Kingdom, but you can see some while on the Safari if you time it right. You can also watch the Rivers of Light show, or the watch the Tree of life sparkle and shine with a beautiful show set to music.

Personally, I have not watched either show from start to finish. However, the parts I’ve seen are so beautifully done.

Must-Do Bonus!

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Pandora. Pandora – the world of Avatar opened in summer of 2017 and has been dazzling guests daily ever since! One of my favorite things about this new section of the park is the way that it seems to sparkle as you walk through it during the evening.

While in Pandora, head over to Pongu Pongu for a night blossom. This beverage was all over instagram, and I was a little skeptical of how good it really was. Well, in February my family decided to give it a try and we LOVED it! This ice cold beverage is layers of frozen apple, desert pair, and lime topped with passion fruit boba balls! It can be purchased for 5.99 or by using one snack credit on the Disney dining plan! 

 

There are so many fun things to do inside the Animal Kingdom during the night, I hope you won’t skip it on your next trip!

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Here’s a family vlog from Fall of 2017 when we celebrated our youngest daughter’s 1st birthday!

The Ultimate Little Mermaid (Ariel) Experience!

The Ultimate Little Mermaid Experience

Do you have an Ariel fan in your life? Perhaps you are the mermaid fan! My youngest daughter is completely obsessed with The Little Mermaid. At around 1-year old she started to show a huge interest in this particular princess, and her love has only grown. If you are looking to build the ultimate Little Mermaid experience at Walt Disney World, this post is for you!

Finding Ariel – Without a Park Ticket

It’s true, you can find the Little Mermaid without a park ticket!

Art of Animation Resort

Walt Disney’s Art of Animation has an entire section dedicated to The Little Mermaid. In this resort, you can stay in a Little Mermaid themed room, swim in the pool or explore the props throughout the resort.

Electric Water Pagent

Find a spot on the seven seas lagoon between 9-10 p.m. and watch the Electic Water Pagent. You will find Dolphins, King Triton, and other Little Mermaid inspired friends. My first memory of this parade is from when I was a girl scout and we’d go camping at Fort Wilderness campground. We’d find a spot on the beach each night to watch the parade!

Meet Ariel at the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast

If you want to meet Ariel and Prince Eric, book a breakfast at the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast!  We dined at Trattoria al Forno in February and had the best character interactions.  The food was also delicious!

The Magic Kingdom

There are many places inside the Magic Kingdom to find Ariel. Depending on your budget and the type of experience you want, here are a few recommendations!

Meet Ariel

Ariel’s Grotto

If you want to meet Ariel, I recommend booking at FP+ reservation for Ariel’s Grotto. Ariel is very friendly and loves to talk with all her friends. This makes for great memories, but long lines. If you aren’t able to score a FP+ reservation, you might want to go meet her in the first hour that the park is open.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Inside Cinderella’s Royal table is another place to meet Ariel. This dining experience is 2-table service credits on the dining plan and reservations are recommended 180 days prior to your visit.

Themed Ride

Under the Sea, The Journey of the Little Mermaid. Located inside New Fantasy Land this ride is a must-do for all Little Mermaid Fans! This ride is designed so that it never stops moving, making the line for this move very quickly. Our experience has been that we don’t need a FP+ reservation for the ride. Pay attention to the beautiful details inside the line, there are lots of hidden treasures that the true Little Mermaid Fan won’t want to miss.

Interested to know what the ride is like? Watch this video put together by Nicole from Happilyeverdisney.com!

Mickey’s Philharmagic

This adorable show featuring Donald Duck and all your friends has a slight peak under the sea during the show. We enjoy heading into the Philharmagic show on a particularly hot day or when it rains.

The Festival of Fantasy

See your favorite characters from Under the Sea during the afternoon Parade. I like to watch the parade from Frontier Land, but many others enjoy the main street view. The parade begins in Frontier Land and ends on Mainstreet. I find it best to consider my next fast pass before choosing a parade viewing location.

Epcot

Ariel isn’t very well represented inside Epcot, but she can be seen in Akershus Royal Table.  Our family really enjoyed this dining experience. The breakfast was very filling, and we loved that we could book the dining 1 hour before the park even opened.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has quite a few ways to soak in all the fun of the Little Mermaid. You can’t currently meet Ariel inside this park, but there are a few great experiences you won’t want to miss.

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid (show)

This 17-minute show is a fun way to get out of the sun and beat the heat during the summer. It also takes you on a musical journey through the movie, ending with the iconic transformation of Ariel as a mermaid into a human.

Fantasmic

Ariel and her prince can also be seen during the Fantasmic Show.

Animal Kingdom

There are currently no Little Mermaid experiences inside Animal Kingdom at this time.

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Oh My Disney: We are flipping our fins over a new collection featuring a Sebastian pool float, mermaid leggings and more!

 

 

Dining at the Whispering Canyon Cafe

Do you Love Mickey Waffles and a refillable skillet full of delicious Breakfast foods? You might want to check out the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

Whispering Canyon Cafe, Location

The Whispering Canyon Cafe is located inside the Disney Wilderness Lodge. Since you are just a boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom, it is perfect for breakfast before hitting the parks. If you decided to visit the Magic Kingdom, be sure to look for these little secret spots for some added Magic to your day.  We were not going to the parks on the day we ate in the Whispering Canyon, so we took some time to walk around and explore the resort.

What to Expect at the Whispering Canyon Cafe

Prior to eating in this restaurant, I asked a group of Disney Moms, and overwhelmingly they all recommended it. Instead of doing some personal research, I just booked a brunch.

When you check in for your meal there is an adorable little table with Lincoln Logs for the kids to play with. My kids loved building little cabins and making friends with other guests.

The cast members are loud, rambunctious and a have a little attitude. It’s all in good fun, and there is a cute little prank with the ketchup. Be sure to ask for some ketchup and even your kids will have the opportunity to get involved.

The food is an all-you-can-eat family style buffet. If you can’t get enough Mickey Waffles, this dining experience is for you! My favorite thing at this restaurant was the bottomless Chocolate Milkshake.

Cost

Dining at the Whispering Canyon Cafe is 1-table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

You can expect to pay between 15-25 dollars per person during breakfast.

Whispering Canyon Cafe wasn’t for us…

Despite all the great things this restaurant has to offer, and the playful atmosphere it wasn’t a good fit for our family.

My girls are quite shy and don’t like too much attention drawn to them. The charm of this restaurant is the rambunctious behavior, and little practical jokes the cast members play. From the moment we approached the counter my girls were on edge and clingy. This made it almost impossible for us to actually eat our meal. My husband and I each traded having the kids on our laps while we tried to eat our meal.

From now on, I think we will stick with Trails End.  They serve similar food and a less rowdy experience.

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Have you ever regretted a dining reservation?

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Why I always book a dining at Biergarten Restaurant

Biergarten Restaurant

If I had to pick one restaurant in all of Walt Disney World property to eat at for the rest of my trips to Disney, it’d be Biergarten. My husband and I have eaten at this restaurant at least six times in the last four years. To be honest, typing this post is kind of making my mouth water for some of the yummy-food they have to offer!

Restaurant Location

The restaurant is located all the way towards the back of the Germany Pavillion in Epcot. Look just behind the beautiful fountain and you will see the entrance to the restaurant. You will need to check in about 15-minutes prior to your dining reservation. We like to check in, and then sit by the fountain and enjoy the ambiance while we wait. Pro-tip. If you are traveling with children in your dinner party, request to be on the floor closest to the stage.

The Ambiance

Imagine yourself at an outdoor Oktoberfest in a village. There will be dancing, live music, communal tables and a large assortment of delicious German food. One of my favorite things about this restaurant is that once you walk inside, you really feel as though you’ve transported to Germany. Similar to the Mexican restaurant, the ambiance of the restaurant makes you feel as though you are dining in the evening. Even if you have an early afternoon meal.

Menu Options

The Biergarten Restaurant is not the healthiest restaurant on property. Although salads are available, they are not exactly known for the salad. This restaurant has incredibly seasoned meats, potatoes and a flavorful cheese soup that pairs perfectly with their pretzel bread. I think one of the reasons this restaurant is so appealing to my family is the wide variety of meats.

See the full menu here. 

I recently tried the grapefruit beer while we were dining at Biergarten. I felt the beer was a little too sweet for the main course, but paired nicely with the desserts. If you like fruity beers, you might want to give it a try. Alcoholic beverages are included in the 2018 Disney Dining Plan.  

Biergarten Restaurant Pricing

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, this restaurant is only 1-table service credit.

Adults (Lunch): 34.99

Adults (Dinner): 59.99

There is a discount of Annual Pass holders available.

This isn’t the most economical restaurant on the Walt Disney World Property. However, our family really enjoys the whole experience. Plan on about 60-90 minutes for this dining experience, and have a good time.

Is Biergarten Kid-Friendly?

Yes. Absolutely.

There is a great show that goes on while you are eating your meal. You will always see a crowd of kids both young and old dancing to the music. The show is also an educational experience as you will have the opportunity to see the types of instruments played in Germany.

Our girls actually look forward to this dining experience. I think this is because they are not required to sit still for the entire meal. Kids and families are encouraged to get up and dance and have fun.

Our family absolutely loves dining at The Biergarten Restaurant. It is one that has become a tradition for us, and one I crave when I’m home. If I had to pick a favorite, hands-down Biergarten!

 

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What’s in my Diaper Bag for Disney

Packing a diaper bag for Walt Disney World can be a little overwhelming. In fact, my first trip to Disney with my oldest I packed WAY too many things but still seemed to not have what I needed. It was crazy to me that we had so many things, but I still felt under prepared!

Now that I am a mom of three (ages 4,3 and 18m) and annual pass holder, I finally feel like I’ve wrapped my mind around packing for the parks!

Diaper Bag Pre-Packing

When packing your diaper bag it is important to consider a couple of key things.

  1. Weather
  2. Reservations
  3. Amount of time in the park

Florida weather can be pretty fickle. I’ve been in the parks when the weather has gone from 70’s to 40’s in just a few hours. When packing your diaper bag, consider the weather. Sometimes the weather is a little rainy in the parks, my friend Keri has some great tips on what to do when it rains at Disney on this post. 

You will also want to consider your dining reservations or fast pass+. If you are going to be dining with Mickey and Minnie or some of the Princesses, you will want to make sure your outfits and your children’s clothing are ready for all the photo opportunities. I often change my girl’s outfits right before a fastpass+ reservation, just so they are clean and fresh for the photopass pictures.

Lastly, how long will you be in the park? Are you planning a rope drop to fireworks day? Do you plan to head back to the hotel for naps or some time in the pool? The longer you plan to be in the park, the more diapers and outfit options you will need.

My Diaper Bag Essentials

These are the essentials I like to have on-hand in my diaper bag for a typical day in the parks during the Spring and Summer. Again, this is for my family of 5. I have a 4-year-old, a 3-year-old (almost fully potty trained), and 18m old. This post does contain affiliate links. It costs nothing extra for you, but your support helps our family.

If you have more than one child, I recommend a backpack. Be as hands-free as possible for your day at the parks! Our “diaper bag” is my husband’s college backpack.  I’ve tried to find a replacement that we loved, but the truth is, we just are more comfortable with the backpack.

 

Disney Resources

If you love Walt Disney World or are planning a trip soon. I invite you to join me in my Disney Fans Facebook Group. 

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What’s in my (Disney) Bag: First Aid Essentials

Walt Disney World is equipped with incredible First Aid Stations. I’ve personally visited them and directed guests to them on a few occasions. – They are AWESOME! Although Disney does provide this (free) resource for their guests, it isn’t always in a convenient location. That is why I like to pack a few essentials in my backpack!

If you do end up visiting First Aid, you will get an adorable little Nurse Mickey or Nurse Minnie sticker. My kids thought this was so adorable. They would wear them with pride!

What’s in my First Aid Kit

First Aid Kits are important for mom’s to have. No matter the ages of your family, I think it’s important to have a few essential items with you. As a mom with three young children (4,3&1), I tend to keep mostly infant and toddler-friendly items with a few essentials for my husband and me.

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First Aid Essentials: Mom and Dad

The few items I like to keep in my backpack for a day at a Disney park for my husband and I include:

  • Tylonal or Ibuprofen
  • Eyeglass cleaner
  • Bandaids

 

First Aid Essentials: Infant and Toddler

  • Tylonal or Ibuprofen (with the proper dosage information)
  • Travel Size Diaper Rash Cream
  • Tums

First Aid Essentials: Other Items

There are a couple of other items that I like to keep with me when in the parks.

  • Small notebook with a pen
  • Thermometer
  • Hair ties
  • Comb

Here is a video I made to show you have I pack everything inside a small cosmetic pouch. I hope this was helpful for you as you plan a trip to Walt Disney World with your family!

What items do you keep in your first aid kit? Leave me a comment with what you recommend! If you are looking for more tips for planning an epic Disney Vacation, be sure to check out this post! 

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival with Kids!

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is perfect for young families. Today I am going to share our top three favorite activities to do during the Festival.

Flower and Garden Festival with Kids

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About Flower and Garden Festival

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. It began on February 28th, 2018 and ends on May 28th, 2018. Each Spring Epcot is filled with beautifully cultivated topiaries, gardens and pop-up venues to try fresh and unique menu options. There is so much to see and do at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, you might want to plan a few days during your visit so that you can see it all.  Since the Festival is held at the Epcot park, you will need to purchase a park ticket.

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Imagination Play Garden

The imagination play garden is located on the walkway to the world showcase near the Figment ride. This play area is perfect for children of all ages and with plenty of chairs in the shade, you won’t want to skip it. The garden is only open until dusk, so don’t wait until the end of the day, because it will be closed.

Inside the Imagination Play Garden, you will find several xylophones, and materials to create music. You will also find chairs under the shade, this is a great spot to take a break!

Road to Florida 500

If you have a Disney / Pixar Cars fan in your life, you will not want to miss this little play area. Just outside this section, you will find Topiaries for Lightning Mcqueen, Mater and Cruz Ramirez. Cruz Ramirez was introduced to us during the Cars 3 movie. You will have to go watch the movie to find out all about her story.

This play area is much smaller than the imagination garden, but there are plenty of nice shaded seats for parents to watch their children play.  My girls enjoyed racing around the track, and playing in the tires!

StorybookErin - Flower and Garden Festival

The Goodness Garden Butterfly House

Our third favorite must-see activity for kids during the Flower and Garden Festival is the butterfly house presented by Gogo Squeeze.   Located on the other side of Starbucks this little house is both beautiful and educational. Your family will have the opportunity to see hundreds of butterflies fluttering around the house. There are many educational posters to learn about the lifecycle of a butterfly.

This is a walk-through experience and no seating is available. You are permitted to take your stroller inside.  However, I found it to be a little cumbersome to navigate through the exhibit. I ended up taking the youngest to have a snack while my husband and our older girls continued to observe the butterflies.

As mentioned before, there are so many things to do in the Flower and Garden Festival, so be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the park during your visit.

Looking for the most frugal way to get to Orlando? Check out this post from my friend Keri over at Flip Flop Weekend.

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StorybookErin - Flower and Garden Festival

 

I let my 4-year-old plan our day in The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom can be a very daunting park to plan. In fact, with so much to do and see it can be hard to accommodate the wishes of everyone in your party. So, when my daughter asked if we could skip a birthday party and take the family to the Magic Kingdom instead, I decided we would have a “yes” day!

The Magic Kingdom “Yes” Day!

Instead of spending hours planning every detail to ensure we had the most fun possible in the Magic Kingdom, I simply said “yes”. Yes to everything the birthday girl wanted to do – and it was awesome!

“May I dress up like Snow White and take a picture with her?” – Yes! 

Even if it means walking to the back of the park with 4 girls ages 4 and under. 

“Let’s ride the Ariel Ride!” -That sounds amazing!

“I want a MICKEY SNACK!” – Yummy!! Where should we get one? 

Lessons Learned

For a person who loves to see spreadsheets, checklists, and plans all set into place before a big trip, this type of day can be a little scary. I was a little nervous that we’d get into The Magic Kingdom and wander around aimlessly and not accomplish anything. To be honest, we kind of did that a little when we were looking for Snow White and the My Disney Experience App was directing us to the wrong spot. However, when I saw the smiles and heard the giggles from the girls I knew we’d made the right decision. 

It wasn’t my birthday we were celebrating. It was our daughters, and this was her day.

Friend, are you going crazy, trying to plan the most amazing Magic Kingdom day for your child? – Don’t. When we are so focused on the matching outfits, the perfect instastories and conquering the Magic Kingdom in a day, we miss out on the giggles and opportunities to soak in the sweetness of our children creating memories.

My friend Keri recently touched on this on her blog, and if you are feeling overwhelmed with Disney planning I invite you to go read her post. 

How to make Fastpass+ Reservations on a “yes” Day!

If you are planning a “yes” day at The Magic Kingdom, I think it is important to make a couple of fastpass+ reservations. I know my girls absolutely LOVE meeting all the princesses, so I used our Fastpass+ reservations on two meet-and-greet opportunities and one of their favorite rides.

Since this was a “yes” day, we were not concerned if we actually made it to the fastpass+ reservations, we simply asked the girls where they wanted to go. If we were near a reservation time I would ask if they wanted to go meet the princess and we went from there. If you want to plan a “yes” day, I don’t recommend booking dining reservations. The reason I don’t is that there is a penalty if you don’t show up.

The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is beautiful. No matter how you decide to spend your day it will create a lifetime of memories. Go ahead, have a “yes” day with your family. Ditch the schedule and embrace spontaneity! Or you can follow my quick tips for planning an epic Disney Day! 

No matter how you decide to plan your Magic Kingdom Day, make sure you embrace the moments with your family.

Soon these moments will become memories.

Let’s make them beautiful!

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What happens when you let your 4-year-old plan your day at the Magic Kingdom

RunDisney Terms you need to know!

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned runner, or new to the sport. RunDisney is a whole new world of terms to learn. I’ll never forget my first RunDisney 5k, and Half Marathon, I had no clue what to expect. I learned so many amazing things during and just after my first RunDisney race and today I wanted to share some of my knowledge with all of you.

RunDisney Terms

There are in no particular order, but the following terms will give you a little insight as you plan for your upcoming Disney Race!

“POT”

Proof of Time

A few months before a race you will see the internet buzzing with the term POT. This is because if you don’t submit a proof of time, you might be placed in the very last corral of a Disney race.  You want to be in one of the faster corrals because it means fewer people on the course in front of you and fewer people to weave in and out of while you are running.

Corral

If you are thinking of cattle, chances are you are thinking the right thing. A Corral is the system RunDisney (and many big races) use to organize runners by start time.

Waiver

The document you need to print and sign in order to receive your racing bib and shirt.

The Galloway

Olympian Jeff Galloway is the RunDisney expert and running coach. He has developed a method of running called the Run/Walk. This method uses intervals to help get you from the start to the finish line with a smile on your face!

I personally love the 30/30 intervals (30 seconds running and 30 seconds walking). Don’t worry, you don’t have to count 30 seconds over and over, you can purchase a Gymboss and have a little buzzer remind you when to walk and run. This is the one I use and love

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Expo

The Expo is where you will have to go in order to get your racing bib and other race items. It is also where you can meet with vendors and purchase race specific merchandise.

Here is a guest post from oilswithDana on what to expect at a RunDisney expo.

“Parade Bus”

As you run your race, you might notice several buses lined up along the course labeled “Parade Bus” this is not characters preparing for a parade, this is a bus you absolutely don’t want to be on. This is the bus that RunDisney cast members load runners who have not met the 16-minute pace per mile requirement or have become injured during the race.

Sweeper

RunDisney cast members who stop you from racing and ask you to wait for the aforementioned “Parade Bus” This only happens if you have not met the 16-minute pace per mile requirement.

Pacer

Incredible people who follow Jeff Galloway Run/Walk intervals. They literally hold a stick for the entire race and shout “RUN” … “WALK” to keep people on track with their pace goals. These people are heroes and should be thanked and treated with so much love as they work very hard to keep a consistent pace and encourage everyone in their group to meet your goal.

Without the 7 hour pacer at the Walt Disney World Marathon, I’m 100% positive that I’d have been on the “Parade Bus”

Read about the 2018 WDW Marathon here! 

Balloon Ladies

Stephanie, after completing the 2018 WDW Marathon!

Amazing women who start at the very end of the race and maintain a 16-minute mile while wearing balloons around their waist.

Yes, that’s actually a thing.

These amazing women maintain a 16-minute pace per mile which is the pace you must maintain to complete a RunDisey race. The theory is, that if you stay in front of the balloon ladies you won’t be swept off the course.

Goofy Challenge

This happens during the WDW Marathon every year. It is when you run the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Full Marathon on Sunday for a total of 39.3 miles. I ran this challenge in 2015 when I was pregnant with my second daughter, it was such a rewarding experience!

Read about the 2015 Goofy Challenge here! 

Dopey Challenge

Also during the WDW Marathon weekend is the Dopey Challenge. This challenge, has runners participate in all the available races from the weekend. 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon.

Darkside Challenge

During the Star Wars Darkside weekend, this challenge has runners completing the 10k and Half Marathon on consecutive days.

Fairytale Challenge

This challenge takes place during the Princess Half Marathon weekend. Runners complete the 10k and Half Marathon on consecutive days.

Two-Course Challenge

As you may have guessed, this challenge takes place during the Wine and Dine weekend. Runners complete the 10k and Half Marathon on consecutive days.

There you have it! a few RunDisney terms you might come across as you are researching for your upcoming race at Walt Disney World!

The Question of the Day: When is your next RunDisney Race?  

Dining at Chefs de France in Epcot

Chefs De France, Epcot

Is there a more romantic section in all of  Epcot than France? – I’m not sure. I’m on a mission to eat my way through Epcot, and today I’m going to share our perfect date-day at Epcot! This February my husband and I had the opportunity to spend a few hours at Epcot for a romantic lunch at Chefs de France and stroll through the Art Festival.

Chefs de France, Location

Located just over the bridge in the World Showcase, you will find the beautiful country of France. The streets in this section are filled activities, such as; adorable vendors, street performances, a gazebo where you can meet Princess Aurora, and a garden where you can chat about your favorite books with Belle. In the midst of all those things is the lovely Chefs de France Restaurant.

I’ve been intrigued by this restaurant for years because there are windows throughout the entire restaurant, so you will be able to enjoy your meal and still be a part of the experiences happening outside.

Chefs de France, Ambiance

The ambiance of this restaurant was very relaxed, with bright lighting from the windows and soft lighting from the overhead fixtures I felt very comfortable and happy in this restaurant. On the walls, you will find many bottles of wine displayed, and the tables are set with stunning glassware.

This restaurant made me feel, happy. 

Chefs de France, Menu

FULL MENU HERE

The menu at this restaurant was much of what I’d expect to find at a French restaurant, and since we were on the Disney Dining Plan, we made sure to order a variety of items to share. Everything we ordered was absolutely delicious!

Here is what we ordered:

  • Appetizers

    • Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)
  • Main Dish

    • Filet de saumon mariné auvin blanc et citron

    • Jarret de porc braisé, spaetzels (Pork)
  • Dessert

    • Assiette de Sorbets du Jour
    • Meringue aux fruits rouges

The food was absolutely delicious! Since I have a food allergy, I got the opportunity to meet the chef! He was so kind and made sure I was at ease with all my menu choices, and even came after the meal to ask me how everything was. It’s the little extra pixie dust that Disney adds to the experience that gets me every time!

If you follow a vegan, gluten-free or other dietary restriction, I’d recommend looking into this restaurant as the chef was very accommodating and friendly!

Chefs de France, Pricing

Although not on the top tier of dining, it isn’t necessarily a budget-friendly dining location. If you want to experience French food on a budget, you might want to check out Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie  (menu) but the food and ambiance at Chef de France are absolutely worth the investment.

If you are on the 2018 dining plan, this meal is only one table service credit! 

Interested in more about the Dining Plan? Check out this post! 

If you are not on the Disney Dining Plan, the general pricing is as follows:

  • Appetizers: $9.00 – $17.00
  • Main Course: $18.99 – $35.99
  • Dessert: $9.75

Overall thoughts on Chefs de France

I loved this dining experience, I thought it was absolutely perfect for a romantic date or even a family meal. The ambiance of the restaurant really made it friendly for a wide range of experiences, it was definitely one of my favorite dining experiences in all of Epcot.

Other Epcot Dining Experiences to Consider

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, and have questions about the new My Disney Experience App? Check out my friend Keri’s post with all the details on how to set up your account! 

The Question of the Day, What is your favorite Dining Location in Epcot? 

Le Cellier Steakhouse, Epcot

About Le Cellier Steakhouse

Tucked away in the Canadian Pavilion is a beautiful garden, with a waterfall and the most delicious steakhouse you’ll find on Disney Property.  Le Cellier Steakhouse has been high on my husband’s bucket list of Disney Restaurants to try, so for our 8th Wedding Anniversary, we thought we’d give it a try, and the food and the experience did not disappoint!

The theming was so perfect, you felt as though you were entering into a wine cellar with the dim lights and beautiful architecture. When you are seated, you will be seated in one of the provinces of Canada, so look for some specific details in the section you are seated.

Menu Options

The attention to detail at Walt Disney World is remarkable when we were seated and handed our menu’s I literally almost cried when I saw that our menus were personalized with “Happy Anniversary” at the top and an image of Cinderella and Prince Charming Dancing – this was so special to me because Cinderella is my FAVORITE Princess.

There were so many delicious options, and not everything on the menu was steak.  We tried the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup as an appetizer and it was delicious! – Highly recommend this! 

 

How much does it cost? 

 
If you are on the Disney dining plan, your meal will cost 2 table-service credits.
If you not on the dining plan, adult meals are between $35-$55*
Reservations can be made 180 days in advance by calling 
(407) WDW-DINE or  (407) 939-3463
*DVC and Passholder Discounts are available.


Is it worth 2-Table Service Credits? 

Personally, I wouldn’t use two table service credits for this meal. There are other dining experiences that I’d love to try and so I think I’d pass on this restaurant. The food, atmosphere, and service were impeccable, I just think I wouldn’t use two credits on it.

If you LOVE steak and wine or are celebrating something special – absolutely! It was such a romantic experience and our server gave us an adorable chocolate to share and one to take home for later, so if you are on your honeymoon, or celebrating something special you might want to consider this dining experience.

Bottom line, it depends on the type of experience you wish to have.

Is Le Cellier Kid Friendly? 

We took our three-month-old with us, and it was okay for a young baby but I wouldn’t recommend bringing toddlers to this restaurant.  With the romantic lighting and atmosphere, my kids would struggle to sit still (or at all). Given the price tag, I’d recommend leaving the kids with family or a babysitter for your dining.
Overall, I’d recommend this restaurant for a celebration or a date but would not for just a meal in the parks – there are so many other quick options that are delicious and less expensive.
 
 
Happy Disney Planning! 
 
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Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast, Trattoria al Forno

Ever since Disney Parks Blog announced the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast I have been wanting to go and take my girls. My oldest daughter is a HUGE Rapunzel fan, and her younger sisters have just fallen in love with Ariel so this restaurant was the perfect fit for our family. 
 

About the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast

This character breakfast in the newest one available in the Disney parks, and just opened in April of 2017.  Located just outside of the Epcot Resorts on the Boardwalk, this breakfast is the perfect option for guests who want to experience Disney magic without the cost of a park ticket. 

Reservations at Trattoria al Forno

Breakfast reservations begin at 7:30 a.m., and end at 11:00 a.m.
 
Pricing: 
  • 1 table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan 
  • $15-20 per child
  • $15-34 per adult 

 

Since this is a fairly new character dining reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
 

Dining reservations can be made by calling: (407) 939-5277 

 

The Food at Trattoria al Forno

The food was quite good and very filling, we each got something different off the menu and shared with each other. One of my favorite things about the restaurant is the uniquely themed pastries. 

You can check the full menu here. 

 

Do I recommend Trattoria al Forno

 
Yes, absolutely. 

Unlike the Akershus restaurant in Epcot, this dining experience has both Prince and Princesses, making it an ideal restaurant for families with both young boys and girls. 

Review of Akershus. 

 

What to Expect at the Bon Voyage Breakfast 

 

Each of the characters will come to your table to sign autographs, take photos and converse with you. My daughters were especially excited to be interacting with Flynn Rider and Prince Eric.  This was a new experience for them, and they still giggle about meeting the prince’s when going through their book of signatures. 
 
After you eat breakfast, make sure you leave a little extra time in your schedule to explore the Boardwalk. There are so many fun things to do on the Boardwalk with your family or you can enter into Epcot in the International Gateway.  
 

Frugal Tip*

Although there is a small gift shop just outside the restaurant, you can purchase your outfits ahead of time and save a significant amount of money. 

Planning a Disney Trip? 

Join my FREE Disney Facebook Group! 

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Secrets for planning a Successful Disney Vacation

Are you subscribed to my Youtube Channel

I recently posted my first ever PLAN WITH ME video featuring my Erin Condren Life Planner and shared 3 of my best tips for planning an epic Disney vacation! 
Our most recent Disney vacation was absolutely perfect, zero complaints and millions of memories! If you want to see some of the footage from our trip and see how I use my Erin Condren Life Planner for memory keeping, please check out my Youtube Video. 
Tip 1: Plan in Advance! 

Planning a Disney Vacation can be pretty overwhelming, that’s why I feel it is important to plan well enough in advance that you can do some research and decide what you want to accomplish during your trip. 
Some important dates to keep in mind, 
Another thing to consider is the Disney Dining Plan and if it is a right fit for you and your group. We decided to go with the Disney Dining Plan for our last trip, but there are a few things to consider before committing too it.  You can read more about the Dining plan on this post if you are interested. 

Tip 2: Consider a Travel Agent 
Did you know that it is absolutely FREE to use a Travel Agent? It’s a common misconception that you have to pay a fee for using a travel agent and for that reason many people plan on their own. It is possible to plan an epic Disney vacation on your own, but a travel agent who is in-the-know can really help you. 
Our travel agent helped us with:
  • Countless questions about the Dining Plan 
  • Fast Pass+ reservations
  • Countless questions about hotels
  • Discount Monitoring 
  • General Advice 
  • Surprise gift in the mail a week before we left 

I am not a travel agent, but the one we used was fabulous! Find her here. 

Tip 3: Don’t over commit and over plan 
It is so easy to rush around the parks trying to go on the most rides, see the most shows and eat the most snacks – and those things are all fun! But, have you ever just taken a leisurely stroll down Main Street, USA? Walked around the World Showcase and had conversations with the cast members? There are so many beautiful details, and magical experiences to be had! 
Just a few we had: 
  • Ride the Trolly down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom
  • Walking with Mary Poppins, chatting about tea 
  • Ride the Nemo Ride 3x in a row 
  • Cotton Candy gift from a cast member 
When you have a little wiggle room in your schedule you open yourselves up to so much opportunity. 
Happy Planning! 



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Is the 2018 Disney Dining Plan right for you?

I just got home from the most magical week at Walt Disney World, and am so excited to share some Disney content!

I’m a Florida Resident, and also an annual pass holder so since I’m semi-local to Walt Disney World, we don’t often stay more than a few days at a time.  This year we decided that we would do an entire week, and check out the dining plan, and I am so happy that we did, you do have to be staying on property for more than one night (I think three nights is the minimum), but when you consider the perks of staying on property it is worth it!

The dining plan we purchased had the following credits and was only $75.50 per night. 

  • 1 – Table Service (per night of stay)
    • Includes alcoholic beverage for guests over 21
  • 1 – Quick Service (per night of stay)
    • Includes alcoholic beverage for guests over 21 
  • 2 – Snack Credits (per night of stay)
I personally found the dining plan to be absolutely worth it. We just spent a week in Disney with our three kids, and never had to purchase any food – everything was paid for in advance! 
If you are on the fence about the dining plan, here are a couple of things to think about. 
  • Are there enough table service restaurants that you have been wanting to try to fill your vacation?
Long before our vacation, I had a list of places we wanted to try with our family, and when we were 180 days before the trip, I started making my reservations. 
  • Are you willing to sacrifice park time for a sit-down reservation? 
I have small children, so a sit-down meal out of the sun was perfect for our family. But, you might not want to sacrifice the 60-90 minutes out of your day for the dining. (There is a quick-service only dining plan you could look into). 
  • Do you want to try all the snacks? 
Disney is known for some creative and yummy snacks, these snacks can be quite expensive so we personally don’t typically buy a lot of snacks while we are there. On the dining plan, there are two snacks per day included. We had so many snack credits left over that we actually we able to bring a whole bunch of treats home to share. 
  • Do you like to have a Beer (or wine) with your meal? 
Something new that is included with the dining plan in 2018 is the inclusion of a specialty beverage with both the quick-service and the table-service meals. I am not a big beer drinker or wine, but it was nice to have that available. 
Favorite Snacks tried
  • Carrot Cake Cookie
This is only available inside Hollywood Studios, and is ABSOLUTELY delicious! 
  • Caramel-Covered Pop-Corn
This is only available in the Werthers Store in Epcot, SO GOOD! A large bag is considered a snack credit and fed our whole family of five. We loved it so much we brought home 3 bags! 
  • Starbucks Beverages 
All sizes are included, so get a venti of your favorite beverage. 
  • Cookies the size of your face!
Available at Big Top Treats inside the Magic Kingdom, this cookie was so much fun!
Overall, we loved the Dining Plan and would absolutely do it again for a future trip! I’d love to hear from you, have you tried the dining plan? What snacks did you try? 
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How to stay warm before a race at Disney

Marathon Weekend 2018 was once again a very cold one at Walt Disney World, and my sweet friend spent the week before the race running around grabbing the most epic layers to keep us warm before the race.

So how does one dress when it is in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s at the start of the race?

Layers.
Beautiful, crazy layers! 

Being a Miami girl, I was pretty cold for more of the race, so I kept almost all my layers for 14 miles and then eventually had to ditch them.

Where to buy layers?
We found all our layers at Walmart for less than $10.00, and let me tell you, it was worth every penny!
What happens to the layers after you toss them?
RunDisney gathers the layers and donates them to local charities.  
Do you toss all your layers? 
No, I always keep my hat and gloves. 
I stuff them into an elastic on my running belt and keep them for the next race. 

Are you a Disney Mom or Disney Blogger?

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More RunDisney Posts

Should I take my Preschooler to Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood Studios is currently going through some major changes and with the new Toy Story section scheduled to open in the summer of 2018 and the new Star Wars land opening in 2019 you might question if you should even take your young family to Hollywood Studios at all.

Here are a few things to consider when planning your trip to Walt Disney World.

  1. Does someone in my party love all things Star Wars?
  2. Do my children like to meet the characters? 
  3. Do we enjoy watching live-action shows? 
  4. Any thrill-seeking adults in the party? 

If you answered yes to most of the questions, you probably want to consider adding a day HWS and here is why.

Star Wars

  • The Star Wars Launch Bay is a unique place in Hollywood Studios to see movie replica’s, meet star wars specific characters, and interact with Storm Troopers. 
  • Captain Phasma leads the March of the First Order through Hollywood Studios on the hour for most of the day
  • Star Wars Specific shows on the main stage, and ending the night with the Galaxy in the Stars fireworks show
  • Star Tours Ride, height requirement of 40 inches
  • Jedi Training Academy
    • Ages 4-12
    • Must register for this activity, registration is limited (information here
Unique Characters
At Hollywood Studios, there are lots of characters at Hollywood Studios both in secret, not published locations, and proper meet and greet locations. 
In Hollywood Studios, you can expect to see in a proper meet in greet:
  • Disney Junior Characters
    • Sophia the First
    • Jake the Neverland Pirate
    • Doc McStuffins
  • Fab-Five
    • Sorcerer Mickey 
    • Red Carpet Minnie
    • Pluto
  • Star Wars 
    • Chewbacca
    • Kylo Ren
    • BB-8
  • Olaf 
  • Pixar
    • Buzz and Woody
    • Cruz Remirez
In pop-up locations I’ve  seen the following characters:
  • Chip & Dale
  • Goofy
Live-Action Shows

The shows at Hollywood Studios are a lot of fun, some of our family favorites include:
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Disney Junior
  • Indiana Jones 
Thrill Rides
If there are thrill-seekers in your party, you won’t want to skip Hollywood Studios. HWS is home of my favorite roller coaster, (Rock’n Roller Coaster) and the fabulous Hollywood Tour Hotel’s Tower of Terror. 
Be sure to ask a cast member about rider swap for the thrill rides. 
Perhaps it is because Hollywood Studios is where my husband asked me to be his wife 10 years ago, but I love the theme park so much and feel it is worth considering when planning your trip to Disney.

Shop for your Disney Trip!* Twice Upon a Year – Up to 75% off when you take an extra 25% off! Code: EXTRA25. Valid 1/26/18-1/28/18. Some Restrictions Apply.


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5 Selfies to take inside the Magic Kingdom

Let’s Take a Selfie!

In an age of independence, we have traded in our high-quality photos for the perfect selfie… I love the way the girls over at What’s up Mom’s captured this concept in thier “Livin’ for the Share” parody.

Since I am known to take a few (too many) selfies to share on Social Media, I thought i’d give my top 5 selfies to take while inside the Magic Kingdom. Please note, you are not permitted to use a selfie stick on Disney property, so be sure to leave those at home.

SELFIE #1 – Transportation

On your transport of choice to the Magic Kingdom. Do you take the bus to the Magic Kingdom? Perhaps you ride on the Highway in the Sky? Maybe the boat?
No matter how to enter the Magic Kingdom, take a selfie! Capture the excitement of your crew as you approach the happiest place on earth!

SELFIE # 2 – Favorite Ride!

My favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom is Space Mountain. Since I had three babies in three years, I wasn’t able to ride it for quite a while. As soon as I was finally able to ride it again, I took that selfie! Sadly it’s a little blurry because of the low-lighting inside the ride. It’s still one of my favorite selfies i’ve ever taken in Magic Kingdom though!

Follow my Disney Bestie for adorable Disney Bounds! 

SELFIE # 3 – The Indian on Mainstreet

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been taking photos with and of the Indian on Mainstreet USA. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to look up the reason for the 2 Indians inside The Magic Kingdom. When the Magic Kingdom first opened, this statue was placed outside of the two locations you could purchase Tobacco. In the year 2,000 The Walt Disney Company stopped selling Tobacco inside Magic Kingdom Park, but the statues have remained as part of the charm on Mainstreet USA.

SELFIE 4 – Your Crew!

Each time you go to Disney it is potentially with a different Disney crew take a selfie with your crew to capture the memories from that specific day!
This is the day our daughters all got thier first haircuts on Mainstreet USA! Such an adorable and fun experience for kids! Read all about the Harmony Barbarshop and what to expect here! 

SELFIE 5 – The Castle

This photo was taken during the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Read about the race here)


@StorybookErin on instagram! If you are still in the mood to take some selfies, head on over to the Purple Wall and take a selfie! Join the 25,000+ other photos on Instagram with the Hashtag of #purplewall

*Edit: The Purple Wall just got a new paint job, totally gives me Spaceship Earth Vibes. Anyone else?

 
What are YOUR favorite selfies to take inside
Magic Kingdom? 
Are you a Disney Fan or Blogger? 
SHARE ON PINTEREST
 
 

Authentic Mexican Food in Epcot: San Angel Inn Restaurante

Every Disney Fan has a bucket list of their own, maybe it’s to stay in the Grand Floridian and watch the fireworks from your balcony in your pj’s, perhaps it’s eating around the world in Epcot. One of my bucket list items was to eat at the San Angel Inn Restaurante at Epcot, and after the 2018 Disney Marathon, my husband treated me to lunch there. 

The San Angel Inn is considered a hidden gem of Epcot, simply because it is located inside the Mexican Pavilion, beyond all the little shops right next to the Three Caballeros  Gran Fiesta Tour. This restaurant has been on my bucket list for quite some time simply because the Mexican Pavilion is one of my favorite pavilions in the World Showcase, and every time I ride the “Donald Duck” ride, I am curious about what it’d be like to eat at the restaurant that you see from the ride. 

The Ambiance

As you approach the reservation desk at this restaurant, you will notice a unique charm. Even though you are inside a building, the atmosphere is as if you are dining outside on a cool evening in Mexico. The lights a dim, and the vibe is very relaxed. 

Due to the dim lights, this is not a restaurant I would take my young family too. It is more of a date-night, or adults only Disney trip type of restaurant. 

The Food

The food was very good, and the portions were large. My husband and I ordered 1 appetizer and one meal to share, and we still had plenty of leftovers. This is also a Gluten Free and Vegan-Friendly option, you just have to request a menu from your server. 

We ordered:


Combinación Mexicana

  • Braised short rib with a chile pasilla sauce over poblano-corn rajas | Enchiladas Verdes de Pollo with corn tortilla-stuffed with pulled chicken topped with melted Chihuahua cheese, queso fresco, and crema Mexicana | Chile Poblano stuffed with black beans and queso Chihuahua with chipotle-tomato sauce

Tostadas de Pollo

Crispy corn tortilla smothered with black beans and topped with chipotle chicken. Garnished with crema Mexicana and queso fresco, avocado, and tomatillo sauce

Blood Orange Margarita 

Tequila, orange liqueur, sweet-tart mix of blood orange juice topped with wildberry foam on the rocks with Tajin chili powder rim
Blood Orange Margarita 

I wasn’t exactly a fan of the Margarita, but I wasn’t surprised about that because I very rarely drink any alcohol. 

The Tostadas de Pollo was absolutely delicious, very fresh and tasty.

The combination platter was also very good, I really enjoyed the ribs – they really had a nice spice to them! 

The Cost
In all honesty, I felt this restaurant was a little over-priced for what the food is. 
Yes, the food was delicious.
Yes, the ambiance was everything I thought it’d be. 
Unfortunately, I just felt like I would have been just as happy at the Taco Stand just outside the Pavilion. 

If this restaurant is on your bucket list, or you are looking for a place to escape the Florida heat in the summertime, you might want to check it out. But, if you just want to satisfy a craving for some great Mexican food without breaking the bank, you might want to check out La Cantina de San Angel (Menu) It is the quick service stand located right across from the Pavilion. I craved their nachos so much during my third pregnancy! 😉 
Heading into my favorite Pavilion!

You might Also like…
Best Rides for Babies in Epcot! 
Star Wars Half Marathon – Race Recap

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Baby Wearing at Disney, the best way to be Stroller Free!

Stroller Free at Disney?

Yes, my family of 5 has spent many days and nights at Walt Disney World without the stroller. There are perks to having the stroller but after so many trips of feeling overcrowded and frustrated with pushing the stroller through Main Street USA,  we’ve on more than one occasion ditched the stroller and been so much happier.

This post contains affiliate links.

Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

How to be Stroller Free 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

*Updated packing list April 2017*

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!

Lille Baby just partnered with Disney to make some adorable new prints. You can see all the new prints here on this post from Michele! 

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? 

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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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