Hollywood Studios

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UPDATED | 10 Stroller Recommendations for Walt Disney World

UPDATED | Stroller Policy Announcement

The internet is buzzing this morning with the latest from Walt Disney World! As of May 1st, 2019 there are three major changes to the Walt Disney World Parks. One of which is the size of strollers. You can read about other two changes here.

What does the Policy Say?

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Thoughts from a Mom of 3 Stroller-Age Children

As a mom of three children ages 5 and under, I must admit I had an initial panic when I heard there were new guidelines for stroller size. Strollers are important for a successful (full day) at Disney. I’ve been known to ditch the stroller a time or two, ultimately I beleive that strollers are an important piece of equipement at Walt Disney World.

Does My Stroller Fit?

My friend Keri did a post not too long ago asking our group of Disney Mom’s what stroller they recommend for Walt Disney World. In that post, I recommended the City Select I love my City Select, It’s absolutely perfect for a family with mulitple children. However, when I saw the dimensions, I knew it was likely not going to be suitable for the new guidelines. The guidelines state that the stroller must not be longer than 52 inches and wider than 31 inches.   So, does my favorite stroller fit with the new guidelines? Yes – but barely.

I measured my stroller the old fashion way (with a tape measurer) and my favorite stroller is almost too big for Walt Disney World. It measured at exactly 52 inches long.

Double Stroller Recommendations

Since my City Select is a little on the large side, and if I’m being honest it can be tricky to maneuver with large crowds, here are some options for strollers that fit the new WDW Stroller Guidelines.

BOB Revolution Flex Duallie 2.0 

If I had to pick an absolutely favorite double stroller for maneuverability, it’d be the BOB brand. I trained for my first Marathon with a BOB stroller and the quality of this stroller is absolutely worth the investment.

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phil&teds Dot Compact Inline City Stroller with Double Kit

I found this stroller while search “slim double stroller” on Amazon. It fits well under the new stroller guidelines but has very limited storage space. I think it would be perfect if you have smaller children, but I’m not sure an older child would fit comfortably in this stroller. It’s worth a look – the reviews are mixed. |UPDATE: Jennifer from https://lovedwellshere.com/ has this stroller and says it surprisingly has more storage than you’d think and recommends it to other moms!

The MacLaren Twin Triumph 

If you are looking for a more simple umbrella type stroller for two, you might check out this one. I love that the canopy has a UPF50+ sun canopy. As we all know, protection from the sun in the Florida heat is so important. Especially for our little ones.

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller

This stroller was released just after I had my third baby. I didn’t purchase it because it didn’t have enough reviews. Would you believe I still think about this stroller?  I don’t regret purchasing my City Select for a minute but I do seem to have a silly fascination with this stroller. It just looks so amazing! Perfect for families with older and younger children who still need a stroller for little rests. This stroller would not work if two of your children needed to nap at the same time.

This post focused a lot on double strollers. Simply because the new policy has really affected those of us who still require a double stroller for the parks. If you double stroller is too large for the parks. I might also recommend a single stroller and a great baby carrier.

When we traveled to the parks with an infant and 2 year old we typically only took one stroller and our favorite baby carrier. The Lillibaby is amazingly comfortable and even has a zipper pocked large enough for your phone, a snack and a small wallet. It’s perfect for being hands free!

Mom’s Favorite Single Strollers

Here are several options for single strollers!

The City Mini is one of the top recommendations among my mom friends. It’s even the stroller my sister purchased when she was expecting her first. It’s lightweight, easy to steer and comes in adorable colors!

BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 Jogging Stroller

Graco Strollers in general are great because of their amazing storage.

Baby Trend Falcon Jogger Stroller  

Baby Trend is known for their affordable options. At less than 200 dollars, this is a great alternative to some of the more expensive jogging style strollers.

I certainly couldn’t do a stroller recommendations list without mentioning the UPPAbaby CRUZ  these strollers are so sleek and beautiful. It’s a little on the pricy side, but a stroller is an investment for many years. You want to purchase one that lasts.

Umbrella strollers are perfect for families who don’t need a lot of space for diapers and supplies. But, do require a place for an older child to sit and rest for a bit during a long fun day at the parks!

Thank You

Thank you for reading, I do hope you found this post helpful as you plan your trip to Walt Disney World! W

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More Great Content!

The Walt Disney World 4 park Challenge | Ultimate List of tips!

The Walt Disney World 4-Park Challenge

I first heard of the WDW 4 park challenge when I was watching some of my favorite vloggers (The Wayts World). This awesome family had decided to conquer all four parks in 1 day and vlog the journey for all of us to see.

As our annual passes were about to expire in December of 2016 my husband and I booked a quick 2 day trip to Walt Disney World. We’d just recently welcomed our third daughter and even though it probably wasn’t ideal for us to complete the challenge, I had too!

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Check out Part 1

4 Park Challenge History

I’ve done some research around the internet and found a post from The Main Street Mouse. This post explains the story of how two friends accomplished the most epic day, visiting all four parks and riding the properties 62 rides. You can read one of the Orlando news articles here.  The Main Street Mouse gives several options for completing the challenge. However, in my opinion, with the opening of Pandora, Toy Story Land and the much-anticipated opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (August 2019) the original challenge seems impossible. Not that I don’t want to try it,…it just seems like quite a task! 😉

Our 4 Park Challenge Experience

My husband and I completed the 4 park challenge with our infant in December of 2016. We followed the same guidelines The Wayts World used. 1 Ride, 1 Snack, 1 Photo in each park. This challenge is exactly as the word says “a challenge”. My husband and I were fortunate enough to attempt this challenge during the few months that Walt Disney World was piloting the “Disney Express Transportation“. This meant, that my husband and I only had to go through security 1 time and that we were able to travel through back-stage Disney to get from park to park. This service was really affordable ($15 per person), and probably the best option for families wishing to park hop. Sadly, express transportation is no longer available, but it was worth every penny! We did complete the challenge, and it was literally one of the most memorable Disney experiences I’ve ever had.

Things to Consider

The Weather

This is Florida. Our weather is quite unpredictable. In Summer the weather will be hot. You will want to be sure you have lathered up in Sunscreen, are properly hydrated and even have cool comfortable clothes for the day. You will also want to consider if there is any rain in the forecast. Fall and Winter the weather isn’t quite as hot as the summer months, but the weather can vary in extreme temperatures so you will want to be prepared with some layers. Spring is a beautiful time to visit the Disney Parks. The weather is usually warm but not quite hot and the mornings are a little cool. Not enough for the need of layers, but comfortable. For a more detailed and informative post about crowds and weather expectations by each month, check out my friend Keri’s post.

Nutrition and Hydration

When completing this challenge, you will be walking about 20 miles in one day. That’s a lot of walking! You will want to be sure to have a water bottle, snacks and your meals planned out for the day.

Park Hours and Park Order

Be familiar with the Disney Park hours before attempting the challenge and have a plan. If you are staying on property, be sure to use the Extra Magic Hours to your advantage. Many people like to start the day atAnimal Kingdom and then head towards Hollywood Studios from there. It doesn’t matter what order you attempt the challenge, but be mindful of park hours. It’s a good idea to consider starting at the park that opens the earliest and ending the day at the park that is open the latest. Typically the Magic Kingdom. You will want to have the My Disney Experience App downloaded on your phone.

Something to consider is that Animal Kingdom is the farthest park as it is not connected to any of the others. You can easily walk from Hollywood Studios to Epcot and there is a monorail that takes you from The Magic Kingdom to Epcot. It is for that reason that many people check Animal Kingdom off thier list first

How much should I budget?

Park Hopper Ticket: $169.00 (Florida Residents $139.00) Ticket prices do change without notice. Be sure to check the Walt Disney World website for the most up to date prices. Money-Saving Hack: You can purchase Walt Disney World Gift cards from Target with your Red Card and save 5%. You can also purchase a discounted gift card with your wholesale membership to store like BJ’s and Costco. This is will only save a few dollars at a time, but every little bit helps when saving for a trip like this.

Meals and Snacks: Each snack is roughly between $4.00 – $7.00, and a meal will cost between $10.00 -$15.00 at quick service locations.

How should I schedule my FastPass+

Since there were specific rides we wanted to ride in The Magic Kingdom (our last park) we scheduled them there. I know many people like to schedule theirs for the middle of the day. In all honesty, I think it’s important to pick a couple of rides or perhaps your favorite park and schedule those fast passes.

4 Park Challenge | Experiences of Others

Taryn and her family attempted the challenge in June of 2018. I loved how raw and honest Taryn is about the challenge. It is important to realize that there are many variables that come into effect when attempting the challenge. One must consider the weather, crowd levels, and your own personal health. Although Taryn didn’t complete the 4 park challenge how she anticipated, the Lau family did manage to visit all four parks. Read all about their experience here!

Jill completed the challenge in March of 2019 with her husband and 3 year old son. She recommends comfortable walking shoes as she logged 12 miles on her fitbit! She also gave some tips for getting the most out of your fastpass. She scheduled each her fastpasses on the MyDisneyExperience app one at a time while she was in the park. It worked like a dream, you won’t believe how much they got done by 9:00 p.m.! Check out her post here!

This husband and wife team accomplished the challenge, quite by accident. They simply wanted to make the most of their 1 day at Disney! Such a fun read. I love that they completed the 4 park challenge on their first ever day at Walt Disney World! First Trip Goals!

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WATCH THE VLOGS!

Let’s Chat

Comment below if you’ve done the 4 Park Challenge, or if you are planning to do it soon!

Tips for Staying Cool on a Hot Day in Hollywood Studios

Florida Weather

As a Florida Native, I sometimes don’t realize how hot Florida weather temperatures are for some. Yes, us Floridians are hot (don’t misread that) but we’ve had a lot of practice keeping cool in the heat. Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite spots to cool off during a visit to Hollywood Studios.

In my experience, the coolest months to visit Walt Disney World will be from late-October until about mid-April. If you are visiting any other time of the year, you will want to check out some of my favorite spots – so keep reading.☺

Plan Your Day

When going to Hollywood Studios when the weather is particularly warm you will want to have a plan. The warmest part of the day will be from about 1-4 p.m. This is the perfect time to check out some shows or even book a dining reservation. When we visited HWS in August, we spent the morning inside the new Toy Story Land and then for the afternoon we had a leisurely lunch in the nice cool air conditioning, did some indoor attractions and character experiences before heading back to Toy Story Land in the evening.

Be sure to catch the Vlogs to see all the fun we had!

Avoid the warm weather with these shows

The following is a list of indoor shows available!

Muppet Vision 3D

Do not skip this! This show is a little bit hidden towards the back of the park, just before the entrance to Star Wars Land (opening in 2019).  The entire show is about 15-20 minutes and will have you giggling the whole way through. We also love this section of the park because there are several little areas to just sit quietly and avoid some of the crowds.

Frozen Sing-Along

This 30-minute show is absolutely hysterical. It combines your (kids) favorite songs from frozen with just enough humor to get even the non-frozen loving guest to laugh. This show is perfect for less-than-perfect weather days inside Hollywood Studios.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid, one of the most adored princesses of all. Follow the story with this semi-live-action show and be out of the weather elements for about 20 minutes. If you have an Ariel Fan, be sure to check out this post. 

Indoor Rides

Rockin’ Roller Coaster

Arguably my favorite ride on Disney Property, Rockin’ Roller Coaster is completely indoor. The line cue begins outdoors but is mostly inside, as is the coaster. Be sure to check height requirements (48 inches) or take advantage of rider switch.

Tower of Terror

The line cue for Tower of Terror begins outdoors with several fans to keep you cool. There is a height requirement of 40 inches for this ride, so be sure to make arrangements for rider switch if traveling with smaller Mouseketeers.

Midway Mania

Located inside Toy Story Land, Midway Mania is the perfect family friendly ride to do while avoiding the warm weather.

Star Tours

Star Tours is such a classic. It was the first of the Star Wars attractions to open inside Hollywood Studios, and with each refurbishment, it’s gotten better and better. The height requirement for Star Tours is 40 inches.

Educational Experiences

I guess it’s my background in education that is really shining through, but there are some really cool educational experiences inside Hollywood Studios. One of them will even get your name written in the Walt Disney World Archives! Are you intrigued? I’ll start with that one them.

Walt Disney Presents

If you want to see some of the most unique Disney artifacts on the property, and see sneak peeks of upcoming attractions you will want to walk through the Walt Disney Presents. If you want to have your name in the Walt Disney World Archives, ask the cast member at the entrance for the trivia game.

When we visited HWS in August I wanted to try my hand at the trivia. It was so much fun to do and only took about 10 minutes for me to complete. This experience is a must-do for all my Disney Nerds out there!

The Launch Bay

Inside the Star Wars Launch Bay, you will have opportunities to see props from the movies and meet several of the characters. There is so much to do inside, you will be able to avoid a few hours of the warm weather and have learned so many cool things about Star Wars.

Top Places to Eat

If I had to pick my favorite place to eat inside Hollywood Studios, I’d say The Brown Derby that’s only because I got engaged there in March of 2008. The food is a little pricey, and if you are on the Disney Dining Plan it’s 2-table service credits.  So, keep that in mind when booking the Brown Derby.

Other great options are Mama Melrose or 50’s Primetime.

My favorite quick service inside Hollywood Studios is Pizza Rizzo. I love it because it’s towards the back of the park and typically not as crowded as other quick service locations. Also, there is plenty of indoor seating. It’s the perfect way to avoid the harsh weather.

Looking for more great weather tips? Check out my friend Keri’s post on what to do when it rains during your Disney vacation! 

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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.

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