How We Eat on Disney Days

How We Eat on Disney Days
This post contains affiliate links. These links provide us with a small percentage from sales made through them and helps keep our blog/podcast magical. Thanks for your support!Ā 

One of the most expensive things about Walt Disney World is the food. Let’s just be honest, if we ate breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, AND adult beverages on property every weekend we would be BROKE. For this reason we have our own version of the Disney Dining Plan.

We typically eat breakfast at home/in the car on the way to the park, pack lunch, and buy dinner. Sometimes we add in a little snack, and frequently an adult beverage or two šŸ™‚

Breakfast

Frozen waffles

Bananas

Apples

The largest to-go cup of coffee I can muster

coffee

I know that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but by the weekend I have typically exhausted my quick breakfasts because of school mornings. So our breakfasts usually consist of grab and go type items on park days when we are trying to get out the door. If we have already admitted to ourselves that Rope Drop isn’t in the cards I have been known to make eggs, pancakes or Olaf waffles in our Olaf Waffle Maker! ThisĀ is once in a blue moon though.

download

 

Snacks

With all of the walking around the parks we are usually ready for a snack around mid-morning. If it was just me, I would stop for a GIANT cinnamon roll from Gaston’sĀ TavernĀ every time, but since we are trying to limit our family’s sugar intake for various reasons we grab a little something from our bag of tricks. My personal favorite bag of tricks is this Thirty-One Thermal. It’s cute and holds a lot more than it looks like it should.

thermal tote

Since our snacks are usually eaten while we are waiting in line for a ride and these are some of our favorites.

Rice Cakes – yes, my kids love these…weird, I know

Cracker Sandwiches

Mini boxes of raisins

GoGo Squeeze pouches

This is usually enough to push us through until around 1 when we stop for lunch and doesn’t cost a lot. Each of these items cost less than $3 for all 5 of us compared to a $5 Mickey pretzel that my kids would fight over.

Lunch

For lunch time we grab some FREE water from a quick service stand and park it on a nice bench. Most of the time I pack peanut butter (and NO JELLY…can you imagine jelly hands at the park?) sandwiches, cheese sticks, veggies (usually baby carrots), Craisins, hummus, and lunch box sized bags of chips. Basically, it is almost the same lunch they get Monday through Friday at school, but everything tastes better surrounded by Disney magic. Also, there are lots of small components and they only get one thing at a time to keep down the mess.

snacks

The kids don’t usually start looking for another snack until around 4-4:30 so we give them a leftover from lunch (if there are any) and we start thinking about where we are going for dinner.

Dinner

Since most of our trips are NOT hardcore planned (one of the major perks of being Annual Passholders and not trying to squeeze everything into a few days) we also do not usually make a dinner reservation (ADR) because we never know what park we will be in. Occasionally we try (like for a child’s birthday trip) but usually we just pick what sounds good. A lot of the time we head to Epcot to eat because they have the largest amount of restaurants and variety in food, but we usually spend 15 minutes talking Kid #1 out of Electric Umbrella. He is obsessed, but this is mostly classic “amusement park food” and if we are going to eat at Epcot we are hitting the World Showcase and trying something new!

shepherds pie

We don’t always do a sit down restaurant, but more often than not we do. By dinner time we are all in need of a rest and a bigger meal. With a family of 5 this can get expensive, but there are ways to save money.

  1. The kids can drink water! Unless their meal includes (an explicitly states that it includes a drink) they get water. Actually, this isn’t just a dining at Disney rule, this is an any restaurant rule because it saves us like $6.
  2. Consider getting 2 appetizers as your meal. Sometimes you just can’t pick what you want and this is a great way to try different things. It usually ends up cheaper than an entree at dinner time.
  3. Okay, don’t throw things at me, but skip the character meals. These meals you are almost 100% paying for the characters and you don’t always get a lot of facetime. I believe that you can meet almost every character that has a dining experience at a different location and it will not cost an arm and a leg. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
  4. Skip dessert unless your heart is set on something you can only get at this restaurant.

Chefs de France edit

How do you eat when you are in the parks? Are you a Disney Dining Plan person, or do you pack as much as you can into your backpack? Do you have a favorite restaurant that you always go to? Tell me how your family eats while at Walt Disney World.

Post Signature

Ride All of the Magic Kingdom Rides Challenge

Ride All of the Magic Kingdom Rides Challenge - Disney Passholder Project

Earlier in the week we had the great idea to go to Magic Kingdom and see if we could hit EVERY ride in the park. We would get there at the elusive rope drop and run through the park with the sun shining and the children being happy and agreeable the whole way!

And then reality hit.

We had also realized that Kid #2 was tall enough for Space Mountain and told her that we had a surprise for her on our trip because surprises are fun. I should know better that to tell this child that there is a surprise coming because she is just like me and cannot sleep when she knows something is coming. Proof – She woke my husband up at midnight and 1am for a drink of water. Then woke me up at 3am for a drink and 4:15 because she had woken up Kid #3 and they were yapping away. What the heck! My alarm was already set for 5:45Ā (8am park openings are rough).

Through blurry eyes and loud children yielding frozen waffles and bananas we made it out the door on time to stop for gas and coffee. For once we were going to make it to rope drop…but then the gas pump wasn’t working, they didn’t have breakfast sandwiches, and the attendant was less than pleasant so we had to go to a second gas station before hitting the highway.

We didn’t make it. šŸ˜¦

We were on Disney property when the Opening Show was going on, but we just couldn’t get there in time…however, we walked through the gate at roughly 8:05am and bolted straight to Seven Dwarfs.

Seven Dwarfs 1

The posted wait time was 30 minutes, but I am pretty sure that they list that at park open. It took us no more than 15 minutes from the time we stepped in line to getting off the ride. What a great way to start the day.

Seven Dwarfs 2

Then we headed to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but were distracted by a 15 minute wait for Peter Pan. We hopped in line. This was our first time ever going through the line because we usually grab a FP+. The line is ADORABLE and is the perfect set up to the ride. In fact, I think I appreciate the ride more after waiting in the line. I wish I would have been able to get some pictures, but we were really only in line 5 minutes.

Peter Pan

After our ride to Neverland and back we made it to Big Thunder and were able to ride it twice because the wait was only 5 minutes! We were going to jump on Splash Mountain since we were there, but it wasn’t open. I’m not sure if it was because it was early, or something was going on, but the big drop didn’t have water on it and there were some alarms going off. We decided to come back later.

Space Mountain (and Kid #2’s surprise) was next up on our list. Hubs took the big kids while Kid #3 treated me to my first ever trip on the Astro Orbiter. I am NOT a fan. I don’t to heights well and I kept feeling like I was going to slip out of my rocket…not cool. The view, however, was pretty cool.

Astro Orbiter

We decided to do a switch since the Space Mountain wait was still only 10 minutes and I took the big kids and Hubs took the little guy on the Tomorrowland Speedway.

Space Mountain

I know it is cliche, but I love Space Mountain! I am well aware that it isn’t actually an impressive ride with the lights on, but when you don’t know what’s coming it’s awesome.

Now, friends, this is about where we started to loose traction for our “Ride Every Ride” Challenge. We decided that we needed to pick a spot and just circle the park to be more efficient so we started with the Circus.

Barnstormer

Our family loves the quick and easy Barnstormer. I don’t know why, but we do. The ride is no longer than 30 seconds, but sometimes that’s all you need. We got in the 20 minute wait line knowing it would only be about 10, but then the line stopped moving…and the ride stopped running. Soon they made the announcement that the ride was down and they did not know how long it would be until it came back up. We gave the kids a snack, but after a few minutes decided to get out of line and head over to Dumbo.

Insert meltdown here.

I won’t get into the gory details of the meltdowns that occurred (ain’t nobody got time for that) but just know that this was about where we gave up on hitting every ride in the park. We decided to hit the rides we had FP+ reservations for (Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise) plus a few more, have a little snack, and play a round of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom and then after dinner we would decide whether to go home, or try to stick it out for a few more rides.

forgot ADR

Ahhh dinner. Earlier in the week when we decided to go to the park I was supposed to make a ADR (advanced dining reservation) for dinner. I was having trouble with my phone when the decision was made so I planned to do it later. I forgot. We got to dinner time and had no dinner reservation. BOOOO. You can’t walk in anywhere at Magic Kingdom. There are just too many people vying for those reservations…so we monorailed over to Epcot. I love dinner at Epcot.

The longer you read this blog, the more you will notice a pattern…we almost always go to Epcot for dinner. The food is just fricking amazing that we just can’t help ourselves. Oh, and you can almost always walk in and get a table. We have only been turned down once, and that was on date night at Le Cellier during Food and Wine so we were silly to think we would get in. I digress.

We bolted straight to dinner at Nine DragonsĀ and were not disappointed.

dinner

dinner 2

After dinnerĀ I completed a Agent P mission with the big kids while hubs took Kid #3 on the Grand Fiesta Tour (a MUST in the Mexico Pavillion). We then we went to Spaceship Earth were I sat through the entire ride in a language I did not understand compliments of my daughter’s pinkie brushing the screen.

Once we returned to the present day I insisted on a park departure treat of ice cream. It had been years since I had a Mickey ice cream bar…it was time. This also helped quiet everyone since we were leaving relatively early and still had to monorail over to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC).

So there you have it. We attempted to do all of Magic Kingdom, only to be thwarted by our own planning. Whoops! Have you ever ridden every ride at Magic Kingdom, or any other amusement park, all in one day? How do you deal with meltdowns (from kids or adults) while at the park? Tell us below, and make sure to check out our NEW weekly podcast!

Post Signature

Disney Passholder Project Podcast #02 – Best in Show

Best in Show - Disney Passholder Project Podcast

Download Audio Here

This week we discuss the live shows throughout Disney World. Which park has the best? Which ones need an update? The curtain rises on our showy debate. We also discuss the upcoming Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and attempt to go on every ride in Magic Kingdom in the Memory Shaker.


Show Notes

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Garden Rocks Lineup

The Boneyard closed for refurbishment

Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60

Yesterland

 

Join our Community

Support us on Patreon

Universe Box subreddit

Billā€™s Twitter

Anne Marieā€™s Twitter

Contact Us:

E-mail: disneypassholderproject@gmail.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypassproj
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPassholderProject/
Instagram:Ā https://www.instagram.com/ubannemarie/
Periscope:Ā periscope.tv/disneypassproj
Pinterest:Ā https://www.pinterest.com/disneypassproj/
Voicemail Number: (424) 274-2352

Yet Another Birthday Celebration

Yet Another Birthday Celebration

With a family of 5 it feels like we are always celebrating something…and that something is frequently a birthday!Ā Last week was Kid #2’s 6th birthday, and she had been counting down to it since before Christmas. I guess turning 6 is a big deal.

Kid #2

Her celebrations included:

  • Going out to dinner at her favorite Japanese buffet the Friday before her “real” birthday
  • Mommy buying her a special outfit to wear to school on her birthday
  • Mommy bringing cupcakes to her class at snack time
  • Being picked up from the bus with a balloon (a tradition of mine)
  • Getting a few gifts on her birthday
  • Having a small party dripping with Disney Princess pink and sugar the Saturday after her birthday
  • Going to the park of her choice the Sunday after her birthday…gotta get that birthday button!

Whoa…spoiled much? I’d say that this isn’t what we typically do, but why can’t you celebrate your birthday for a month?

Cupcakes

But this isn’t a birthday blog…it’s a Disney blog so let’s get to the park part of the celebration!

We had been planning on going Sunday of MLK weekend for a while since there was no school/work the next day, but on Saturday it looked like there was a 100% chance of rain throughout the day so we cancelled our FP+ and decided toĀ see if Monday’s forecast was better.

But then the pixie dust took over! When I woke up on Saturday the forecast was clear the whole day because the storm hit us overnight. We scurried around and were out the door with a bag full of snacks (we were only planning on purchasing one quick serve meal that day) and were able to make it inside the gates within 2 hours of opening.

Now, since Kid #2 had already had gifts and a party this was a bit of a low-key celebration. No ADR’s (advanced dining reservations) had been made, no appointments withĀ Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and FP+’s were not made for meeting princesses…it was basically a “normal” day at the park for us, but with a birthday button.

Cake O'clock

Here are some of the highlights!

Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain!! This is a family favorite and it is very rare that we get to ride it during the day. For some reason we always get evening/night FP+ for it. Kid #3 has just recently realized (admitted to himself) that he likes roller coasters. I cannot express how much more enjoyable trips are when you aren’t fighting a 4 year old in line for half an hour. And he’s a biter.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Cards

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Game

We finally got signed up with our starter sets of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards. Kid #1 has been begging for months to do this, but we wanted to wait until the holiday crowds went home to get started. We took turns at each portal to fight against the likes of Scar, Hades, and Maleficent. Even Mommy and Daddy got into the game. This isn’t something I would recommend for a family that is on a “once in a lifetime” trip to Walt Disney World, but I think it is awesome for Annual Passholders and guests who come regularly.

Birthday Slushie

The birthday slushie! Kid #2 kept talking about getting a birthday cupcake from SOMEWHERE!! She went with daddy to grab dinner from Pinnochio Village Haus (like we did on her 3rd birthday trip) and she came back with a crazy sugary lemonade slushie. The boys have now declared that they wanted to go back there for their birthdays because THEY wanted slushies.

Belle Bow

Kisses

Kisses from Belle! Kid #2 gets very excited to always participate in Enchanted Tales with Belle, but Kid #3 is ALWAYS attached to my leg. He hides.Ā This day he decided that he was going to play too! I was over the moon excited. He did everything the castmember asked when she was handing out parts and Kids #2 and 3 got picked to be Mrs. Potts and Chip! They are excellent hoppers! After the performance when it was his turn to meet Belle the castmember helping him showed him how to box to Belle and it was amazing. She spent more time with him than any other kid and then (after I put my phone away) she game him a big kiss on the check! THIS Ā is one of those times when I cannot wait to upgrade our passes so that Memory Maker is included!

Seven Dwarfs

We typically do not get in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train unless A) we have a FP+ or B) the wait is half an hour or less. On this trip we decided to get in line with it showing 50 minutes becauseĀ every ride had been about half the posted wait time all day. This was the same! 50 minute wait posted and only 30 minutes until we were off the ride. Awesome as always.

Coffee

Pixie Dust was on our side again!! I was grabbing a couple of coffees to warm us up while we completed the Adventureland mission for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and the castmemberĀ made 2 hot cocoas. When I corrected her she offered them to me for free since she would have to dump them anyway. Talk about happy kids!Ā This little boost helped us push through Kid #2 taking FOREVER to spend her birthday money (a Belle purse and gloves, thank you very much!).

This trip was almost picture perfect. We rode 85-90% of the rides we wanted and only had one small child meltdown when we were leaving. January is one of my favorite months to go to Disney because the crowds are gone and the heat isn’t forcing you to stop for water constantly.

Happy Birthday

 

This weekend we are looking to do Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios on Sunday. Fingers crossed that it is another good trip!

Have you ever gone to Disney to celebrate your birthday? Maybe an anniversary or engagement? I have seen a lot of people there celebrating high school and college graduations. Walt Disney World is AMAZING for celebrations!

Post Signature

Princess-palooza!

Feature image

If you follow me on social media than you know that not too long ago I scored the Holy Grail of FP+ for almost any little girl – Anna and Elsa thanks to The Dibb! It has taken me a little while to get this post up because of switching computers, corrupt files, and the holidays, but here we go with our Princess-palooza!


 

Kids #2 and #3 and myself had FP+ to go meet Elsa and Anna around 10:20pm on a Saturday before their passes started blackout started. This was perfect!

We got out of Philharmagic right around 10 as the fireworks started which put us in my new favorite place to watch Wishes. Seriously, once you have seen Wishes from the usual view you need to stand somewhere around the carousel because you will be surrounded by fireworks. It is really neat to see how they layer them for the show.

When it was time for our FP+ we headed over to the Princess Hall and walked right in. The wait for Elsa and Anna was around 45 minutes (I believe) but with our passes we waited less then 5 before being ushered into the meet and greet room. Both of my kids were SUPER excited and could not wait to meet their idols.

Elsa

Elsa - Disney Passholder Project

My kids were so excited they could barely do anything except smile and giggle. I had told them in advance to ask her questions or tell her how much they liked her, but they completely froze up. Maybe next time.

AnnaAnna - Disney Passholder Project

After Ā being so star struck with her sister I was a little worried about how they would be with Anna, but it was like night and day! She pulled them out of their shells and had them do stretches with her before heading to the North Mountain. THEY LOVED THIS! Kid #3 thought this was the greatest thing ever! He actually had a bigger reaction with her than when he met Woody and Jessie on his birthday!Anna 2 - Disney Passholder Project Kid #3 - Disney Passholder Project

THAT FACE!! I don’t think he could have been more excited if Olaf was there.

As with everything at Disney once you leave the attraction you are in a gift store. This gift store happened to have Minnie Mouse dressed up like Elsa so we had to get our picture with it!

Minnie Mouse - Disney Passholder Project

Since we had gotten in and out so quickly (we did get a fair amount of time with the princesses…no rushing!) and we weren’t set to meet up with the Space Mountain crew for a bit we decided to jump in Rapunzel and Cinderella’sĀ 10 minute line. I don’t think we ended up waiting even that long!

Rapunzel

Rapunzel - Disney Passholder Project

I figured since they had warmed up with Anna that they two would be fine with Princesses Round 2, but they clammed back up! LOL Rapunzel did get down on their level to interact with them which they loved. She even complimented my daughter’s skirt saying it looked like paint and that absolutely made her day. She still talks about it.

Rapunzel 2 - Disney Passholder Project

Cinderella

Cinderella - Disney Passholder Project

Cinderella was so stinking cute! I loved her. For some reason Kid #2 kept showing her her shoes (that have Anna and Elsa on them and are falling apart) so they all had a shoe fashion show. It was awesome.

Cinderella 2 - Disney Passholder Project


 

Here is my #1 tip for meeting characters…don’t just stand there and smile, INTERACT WITH THEM. The more questions and things that you have for them the better your interaction with them will be (and the better pictures you will get!). One person who always has AMAZING interactions with characters is The Character Queen. Check out his pictures and videos…always good for a giggle!

Interact With Them - Disney Passholder Project

What are the best character experiences you have had? Why were they so amazing?

Post Signature

 

Thanksgiving Break!

Epcot Tree

Are you thinking about going to Disney for Thanksgiving?

DON’T DO IT!

Especially if you are a passholder. You have options! Take advantage of them and don’t even think of setting foot in the park. We almost learned this the hard way.

This weekend we made Sunday a 3 park day by hitting Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom before wrapping things up at the crazy McDonald’s near International Drive. The lines weren’t terrible (spoiler, we rode Star Tours 3 times). Then yesterday, Monday November 23, I saw posts on social media of the lines at Magic Kingdom and was sick. MASSIVE CROWDS. Huge lines for everything.

 

So here is what we did on our 3 park day.

Hollywood Studios

The park opened at 8am and we arrived around 7:40 so that we could make a beeline to Toy Story Midway Mania because it is humanly impossible to get FP+ for it as a passholder. This is because guests staying on site can make their reservations 60 days in advance and passholders only get 30 days. I’ll offer some tips on this another time.

So we made it to Midway Mania BEFORE the park technically opened and there was already a 20-30 minute wait. BOO! However this is better than the 70 minutes that we have waited before and got in line. I think that the problem with this line is it is SO DECORATED that people are constantly stopping to take pictures and holding up the line. I get it. You’re on vacation. That picture with the life size Barrel of Monkeys will not make your memories better. At least the talking Potato Head was blocked off (presumably because of construction to add the third track) because he REALLY holds up the line.

On this particular trip I was wearing a Greetings from Storybrooke t-shirt and one of the Cast Members commented about Mr. Gold’s shop in Streets of America. This is a common tidbit that they like to share. However this CM told us that the shop will not be there too much longer šŸ˜¦ It seems that since this is the last year for the Osborne Lights and there is SO MUCH CONSTRUCTION coming to Hollywood Studios that the Streets of America might be going away. So, of course, we had to walk by and tip our theoretical hats.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsNext up was an overdose of Star Tours. Since they have added scenes from the new movie and there are over 50 different combos that you can get we always got a new adventure. On our second trip Kid #2 got to be the Rebel Spy. You should ask her about it. She has been reminding us of it FOR DAYS. The only downside (IMHO) is that all three trips had the same middle and a transmission from BB8.

After hitting a few more rides including our favorite The Great Movie Ride and not-so-favorite Voyage of the Little Mermaid we headed off to Epcot. We probably would have stuck around a little longer, but the lines for Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollercoaster were just this side of too long because I would have to entertain the little kids for too long.

Epcot

Stitch at Epcot

Kid #1 went to a birthday party not long ago and they were talking about the World of Coke and Epcot’s Club CoolĀ and he got obsessed! He wouldn’t stop talking about it. So we promised that we would take him this trip EVEN THOUGH we went to World of Coke when we lived in Atlanta and it is essentially the same thing. I think they were just excited to drink pop because we only allow it on special occasions. So we all OD’d on samples before heading off to the World Showcase for adult lunch and a Perry Mission.

Club Cool

Since Food and Wine is over the Showcase is MUCH calmer and it doesn’t make me twitchy to go there anymore. It was also not too busy for a Perry mission through Germany. There seemed to be a lot of people who had the same idea because there were kids with phones all over and Agent P and Doffensmirtz popping up all over the place. The kids had a blast!

We also did some things that we had never done before! We finally made it to the O, Canada! and Reflections of China movies, as well as catching part of the Lumberjacks show. My kids were unimpressed by having to stand for the Circlevision movies, but I thought they were beautiful. I want to take a vacation to Canada now!

I also learned, after our visit, that the Lumberjack show has ended! We caught one of the last shows šŸ˜¦ If I would have known I would have gotten more pictures/video.

Mid-afternoon we were met with tantrums, a freak rainstorm, and wait times in excess of 2 hours on Soarin’ and Test Track. This is when we decided to grab the kids a snack (low blood sugar?) and head off to Magic Kingdom to round out a 3 park day.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Tram

This was before round 2 of tantrums started.

“I want to go on this ride.”

“I don’t like that ride.”

“Noooooooooooo!”

*Throws self on ground.

Becomes a limp noodle.

We were those people. I HATE being those people.

So we plopped them all on a wall and gave them a Wasa cracker and a timeout. Mommy and Daddy would be dictating what rides we went on. Kind requests would be taken, but no promises that we would do them.

We made it on Big Thunder Mountain and Buzz Lightyear before giving up and heading home.

In Conclusion…

I fully blame myself for many of these tantrums. I did not bring enough food with us to keep bellies full and blood sugars evened out. However, I am so grateful that we went when we did. We had been planning on making a few trips over the Thanksgiving week andĀ we have cancelled those plans to do other things, like go see Pan!

Post Signature

Christmas at the Magic Kingdom

Christmas Tree - Christmas at Magic Kingdom

The parks have all been pretty busy on the weekends since Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Parties and Food and Wine started. This week we decided to check out the Magic Kingdom in the middle of the week because it was BOUND to be slower…right?!

WRONG

Main Street - Christmas at Magic Kingdom

We arrived at the park right around dusk and were heading up Main Street towards our first FP+ (Jingle Cruise) ohhing and aweing all of the Christmas decorations when an announcement was made. Elsa would be lighting the castle in 5 minutes.

It was like fate! We had watched the first lighting the other night when it was streamed online and Kid #2 was SO EXCITED (who am I kidding, I was excited too). This is something that I thought was just for the Christmas party and here we were walking right into it!

Blue Castle - Christmas at Magic Kingdom

We politely pushed our way through the crowd to find a good spot in the Hub. We ended up being right behind a pretty big TV screen that the show was on that I am pretty sure was there because they are recording the Christmas parade this week in the park.

And then it began with a little banter from the characters and Olaf being Olaf before the main event, and as with most Disney shows, it did NOT disappoint!

White Castle - Christmas at Magic Kingdom

After the lighting was Jingle Cruise time! We had only been on the Jungle Cruise once before and I couldn’t wait to see the holiday overlay. It was adorable and we had a great skipper! The special cruise Santa hats were awesome and I kind of want one.

Jingle Cruise - Christmas at Magic Kingdom

We also had some extra special Disney magic. Peter Pan was flying by and saw how brightly our kids were shining and sent 2 castmembers with a special present for them…a HUGE hot fudge sundae! They were beyond thrilled (especially since we had NO intention of buying anything).

Ice Cream - Christmas at Magic Kingdom

We only hit a few rides since it was a school night and we had to get home (we also had some VERY cranky/sleepy kids), but it was a wonderful night. I can’t wait to spend a full day in the park (and maybe grab some better pictures). We also didn’t sample any of the fun, seasonal treats and that HAS to happen!

Are you coming to Disney for the holidays? What are you most looking forward to?

Post Signature

I Need More!

I Need More - Disney Passholder Project

Animal Kingdom has the absolute BEST shows in all of the parks and I had NO IDEA! No one talks about it. No one gives any inclination that there is anything worth seeing at Animal Kingdom. It wasn’t until I started this blog and started paying attention that I began to realize the wonder that is Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I mean, we didn’t rush to Animal Kingdom when we got our passes for the same reasons as many people:

  • Not too many rides
  • Isn’t it just a zoo?
  • They close so early
  • It’s under as much construction as Hollywood Studios (well, it feels like it)

Now feel like I was missing out.

The shows were absolutely amazing and I didn’t even know most of them existed!

Festival of the Lion KingĀ 

All we really knew about this show was that the people who worked on the Broadway production also worked on this. We had high hopes because that (and as theatre geeks we always go into a show with high hopes) and were not disappointed.

Festival of the Lion King - Animal Kingdom

While this show doesn’t tell an amazing story, it’s basically a party to celebrate The Lion King, it exposes you to some phenomenal artists. Two thirds of the kids had no interest in going to see this show because they were never really big fans of The Lion King, but Kid #2 leaned over twice to tell me that it was SO MUCH BETTER than she expected.

The performance is done in the round with colors, lights, sounds, and spectacle surrounding you. With talents spanning from amazing song and dance to gymnast monkeys to costumed characters and floats to fire twirlers and beyond this show has something for everyone.

The crowd interaction is also wonderful. Each section of bleachers is assigned an animal to perform and a handful of kids are brought on stage for a parade (I believe you have to FP+ for this).

One of the wonderful things about live theatre is that every performance is just a little different. This is one I will now look forward to every time we go to Animal Kingdom.

Finding Nemo: The Musical

When presented with the option of going to a 40 minute long production of Finding Nemo while at the park I was not so thrilled. Neither was my husband who hasn’t even watched the entire movie (he tends to zone out on kids movies). However, in the middle of the day when it was hot as blazes sometimes you just have to go for it. 40 minutes sitting in air conditioning…who cares if the show stinks!?

Finding Nemo: The Musical - Animal Kingdom

Um, it was amazing!

Finding Nemo: The Musical (2) - Animal Kingdom

Like, these pictures are doing it ZERO justice!

The actors were so amazing that you barely saw they running around attached to puppets. Their bodies and faces expressed everything that their character was vocalizing, but couldn’t physically do because it was a puppet.

I don’t know how else to describe this, except that yes, I know it sucks to basically take an hour out of your day at a park that closes early, BUT you have to go see this!

It’s Tough Being a Bug

So this may sounds silly, but this show is pretty dark and scary! I know, right. Who would expect a show based on A Bugs’ Life to be scary?

Granted, I think that only 1/5 of our family has ever even seen this movie, but we decided that since the other shows were so good that we had to give this one a try. We were happily entertained…even when it was a little stinky and bumpy!

More Please!

I would love for the other parks to take this approach to some of their shows!

Hollywood Studios would be the perfect place to put on an elaborate show (or three) like this, but they don’t. Well, except for Beauty and the Beast…which I hear rumor is in danger of being closed…surely to be replaced by something Star Wars. *pout*

And Epcot! Can we PLEASE get rid of Captain EO and do something a little more fun and exciting?

Then there is the Magic Kingdom. My family are huge fans of the Enchanted Tiki Room, Carousel of Progress, and the Country Bear Jamboree (well, my husband loves this one), but it would be nice to have something a little more modern to sit and watch. As theatre nerds we love the singing and the dancing…bonus points for audience participation!

Post Signature

Tomorrowland vs. Epcot: Which Future is Better?

Tomorrowland vs. Epcot: Which Future is Better? - Disney Passholder Project

On last night’s episode of Universe Box we talked about all things Retro Futurism. From a “Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow” to Captain EO and Spaceship Earth we compared the Disney futures and pasts.

You can catch the full episode below, butĀ be sure to join us each week at 8:30pm ESTĀ at live.universebox.comĀ Ā where we talk about topics such as chocolate, Harry Potter, family, Disney Renaissance, and many more.

Ā Post Signature