Magic Kingdom

The Best of Walt Disney World for Seniors

by on October 4, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney World for Seniors

Welcome back to Part 6 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, teens and adults. Next up are the still-going-strong seniors. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the seniors surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Adults

by on September 27, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney for Adults

Welcome back to Part 5 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, and teens. Next up are the young-at-heart adults. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the adults surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Teens

by on September 18, 2017

The Best of WDW for Teens

Welcome back to Part 4 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babies, preschoolers, and grade school kids. Next up are those thrill-seeking teens. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the teens surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Disney After Hours Event Returning to the Magic Kingdom

by on September 14, 2017

Disney After Hours

Disney After Hours Event Guide ©Laurel Stewart

Last year, Disney introduced a special ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom called Disney After Hours. The event, overall didn’t have a large number of Guests attend, however for those who did experience Disney After Hours, they said that it was one of the best experiences they’d had. So, Disney has decided to bring it back once again.

During Disney After Hours, Guests are able to enjoy quicker access to select rides and character greeting locations. The event enables Guests to maximize their time in the park with quicker access to over 25 attractions and character greetings. In addition, Ice cream novelties, popcorn, and bottled beverages are available free of charge. For those who would like to enjoy other options, Guests can also purchase select menu items at Main Street Bakery and at other select locations throughout the park.

Disney After Hours will take place once the park closes on select nights in January, February and March. Event Guests may enter the park as early as 7:00 p.m. and will then be able to remain in the park for three hours past the scheduled closing time for the event.

Dates and times for Disney After Hours for 2018 are:

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Grade School Kids

by on August 29, 2017

Welcome back to Part 3 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babies and preschoolers. Next up are those fun-loving pirates and princesses, grade school kids (ages 6-12). When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the grade school kids surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Walt Disney World Ice Cream Crawl

by on August 28, 2017

ice cream crawl passport cover

Leave it to artist Donna Yan’s adorable Dole Whip couple to make us simultaneously want Dole Whip and a Mickey Bar!

I don’t know about you, but one of my absolute must-have indulgences at Walt Disney World is ice cream. Add into that my love of coming up with themes or challenges for our Disney trips, and you get a recipe for success. (Specifically, you get a Walt Disney World Ice Cream Crawl!) My husband and I are apt to try a variety of challenges on our trips. We might focus on only getting snacks from places we’ve never been to before. Or we might make all of our table service reservations for restaurants we’ve never visited. Or we’ll do a trip dedicated to resort dining. (I’m just now noticing the theme of food in a lot of our planning…) For our upcoming trek, we decided to crank it up a bit and focus on ice cream.

I knew from the very beginning that not only did I want to do an ice cream crawl, but I wanted it to have its very own passport. I was inspired by the Epcot festival passports that detail out what food items you can find where. Seriously, what better way to keep track of all the amazing ice cream options than to have a dedicated ice cream passport?! (You can download your very own passport later in the article.) Let’s back things up a bit and discuss how the ice cream crawl was formed.

Simply put, the ice cream crawl was born out of an intense desire for ice cream. (Okay, it was actually as a result of the Whole30 we were in the middle of, but don’t tell anyone else that. It’s not like we were dying for sugar or anything…) First, I needed to decide what locations would be fair game for inclusion in the passport. All four theme parks were obvious, but what about resorts? Water parks? Disney Springs? At the end of the day, I went with locations that we would be reasonably likely to frequent. This included all four theme parks, Disney Springs, and the area around Crescent Lake. It’s so easy to pop out of Epcot and over to the Crescent Lake resorts that including those seemed appropriate. (And we really needed Ample Hills Creamery in there!)

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Here’s How Hot Walt Disney World Really Gets in Summer

by on August 23, 2017

I spent the evening in Pandora a few days ago to see how it’s all aged over the summer. (Short answer: reasonably well.) But the big thing I noticed was how hot it was. At 7 p.m. the temperature read 89℉, but fam, it felt much hotter than that. I wanted to know why.

Now, I’m an expert on a lot of things. You know that. I know that. But temperature is not one of them. So I did some research.

Air Temperature Is A Lie (Sort of)

The first thing I learned is that temperatures are measured in the shade, not in the sun. So when your iPhone weather app says it’s going to be 95℉ in Orlando tomorrow, it’ll be 95 in the shade. It’s worth pointing out that most of Walt Disney World isn’t, you know, cool shaded pathways. It’s worth asking how much hotter it’ll be in the sun.

To answer that question we enlisted the help of TouringPlans’ own Brandon Glover, to serve as our ceremonial rotisserie chicken. We equipped Brandon with two digital thermometers – one white and one black – to measure the temperature you’d feel standing in direct sunlight and wearing light or dark clothes. And we sent Brandon to the Magic Kingdom.

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Preschoolers

by on August 22, 2017

Welcome back to Part 2 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. Last time we discussed favorites for babies, and next up are the adorable preschoolers. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the preschoolers surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2017 + Video

by on August 22, 2017

We’re finally approaching my favorite time of the year: FALL!

I love it all: the cooler weather, colorful leaves (here in MN at least) and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

To see what ghoulish festivities this year’s party has in store for you, click on the video below!

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, August 10, 2017: Port Orleans Staycation

by on August 10, 2017

School. Starts. Monday. No matter how many times I look at the calendar, I still can’t believe it. This summer has flown by. With family visits and our ah-maze-ing cruise, it seems like we just got started on summer and it is already gone. We were able to find a reasonable rate at Port Orleans French Quarter, and since we haven’t stayed there in 10 years (yipes!), it sounded like a perfect choice for an end-of-summer staycation.

Port Orleans French Quarter has been a sentimental favorite for us–it’s where we stayed on our honeymoon. Although it is a moderate resort, I actually prefer it to some deluxe resorts. The fact it is so small also means that there’s not really a bad building to stay in, because everything is convenient. We arrived early in the morning to check in because we wanted to take the bus from the resort to Magic Kingdom. Because we weren’t planning to sleep there–just pay for the room as a place to change and hang out and watch Mickey cartoons if it rained–we took the option to skip Mousekeeping service for our stay and snagged a $15 gift card for the two nights. Time for breakfast!

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