Sometimes the smaller experiences at Disney World are the most meaningful. A perfect example is the opportunity to become an Honorary Citizen of the World. It was only after multiple trips to the parks that my family even knew that we could become citizens of Disney World, and then it took a few more trips before we actually got around to taking action.
If you too would like to become a Disney World Honorary Citizen, now is the time! Citizenship happens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is the most unpredictable Disney World park right now in terms of what experiences will survive from one day to the next. So if you would like a chance to call yourself a citizen of Walt Disney World, I advise venturing over to the Studios’ Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream at your earliest opportunity because you never know how long it will last. Read on for all the details.
For the well-versed Disney traveler, it’s common knowledge that meals and snacks are also considered attractions by many Disneyphiles. In fact, one of the biggest part of the Disney vacation planning is determining when your 180 day window opens to start making dining reservations. Food is a big deal, and Walt Disney World has so many options, it’s difficult to choose!
Dining at Walt Disney World can be tricky and usually involves making reservations six months in advance in order to secure a spot at your favorite restaurant. As a solo traveler this is less important since reservations for one are easier to come by. If you travel in peak times, however, you’ll still want to make a reservation at those popular dining locations.
I like to be adventurous and take advantage of some great spots that offer a unique setting for those dining alone. Here are my top five dining options for solo-travelers:
Jiko is a signature dining restaurant by Disney standards, which means dining here can cost you 2 table service credits if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, and also means the menu prices might be a bit steeper than other general table service restaurants around the resort. Don’t let this deter you though, you can easily dine here on a budget. Focusing on the appetizers and creating your own tapas-style dining experience can really help you save some cash, if needed. Jiko features an inventive menu of African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine that offer a change a pace from traditional menus, but aren’t so spicy or bizarre to alienate a less adventurous palate. Jiko also boasts one of the most extensive wine provisions in Florida, so if you like a glass or two, this is the place for you!
Nothing like Baymax hanging out on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.
Have you ever considered what it might be like walking around a Disney theme park looking like a personal healthcare companion who sometimes moonlights as a superhero? No? Well maybe you should!
Today I’m bringing you a Baymax Hat Tutorial for your very own Big Hero 6 Baymax armor hat. If you caught my tutorial on custom Mickey ears then you know I’m a sucker for wearable Disney crafts. However, this Baymax hat tutorial can be just a smidge more appealing than undertaking the full custom Mickey ears. First, this tutorial is a snap. There is no sewing involved – just a little bit of cutting and hot gluing and you’ll be in business. Second, the great thing about this hat is that it is 100% unisex. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for guys wearing Mickey ear headbands, but some guys might not want to go that route. This gives them an opportunity to participate in some light DisneyBounding while also keeping the sun off their faces.
Do you feel like maybe your crafting skills aren’t up to snuff to make your own Baymax hat? No problem! Read through to the end of the post for how you can enter to win the exact Baymax hat I constructed for this tutorial!
That’s right, we decided to be Baymaxes.
Let me start out by giving you a little background on this particular hat. My husband and I visited Disney World over the 2015 Memorial Day weekend, which provided us with an opportunity to participate in the 24-hour party at Magic Kingdom. (And this party encouraged costumes. Enough said.) Anyway, Anthony decided he wanted to go as armored Baymax. He had it all figured out, but he needed just one teeny, tiny thing from me. He needed a hat. He knew what he wanted it to look like, but to his dismay no one else had thought of the need for this piece of head-wear, and it didn’t exist on Amazon or Etsy. A little bit of brainstorming and the end result was the fantastic Baymax hat you see here! (Yes, I also decided to attend the party as Baymax. Healthcare Baymax. Because I thought it was adorable. Is any other reason needed?)
Even though I designed and created this hat, I have to admit that I have just a little bit of bitterness towards this dashing head-wear. Why? Well every time Anthony wears it at Disney World he gets a ridiculous amount of awesome comments on it. High fives, thumbs up; one person even asked him if she could have it. (Straight out asked for it – weird, right?) You might be asking yourselves why on earth positive feedback on something I designed is cause for jealousy. Well, the truth of it is that no matter how much time I put into making amazing custom Mickey ears, I never get the accolades he gets for a hat that took less than an hour to throw together. Let’s give the man some credit though – his immediate response is always, “She made it!” as he points frantically at me.
Okay, okay; I’ll stop rambling and get on with the show.
How did the Disney World Crowd Calendar do last week?
Last week the Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted crowd levels to bounce up and down each day in a flattened “w” shape. As it turns out, that is exactly what we observed but the “w” wasn’t so flat. The resort wide numbers were within one crowd level of what we observed each day with the only exception being Friday when all four parks were one or two levels higher than predicted.
Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:
Walt Disney World can be expensive. You know that, I know that. But what if I were to tell you that there are lots of ways to add some magic to your Disney World vacation for absolutely free? That’s right folks, I’m going to share with you 10 of my favorite ways to have family fun around the resort without spending an extra penny.
So without further ado, let’s enjoy some free family fun and save some money!
The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an enchanting interactive game where you use spell cards at magic portals to defeat Disney villains. Kids and gamers alike love this experience, especially because they can collect and keep the spell cards.
A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas
Location: Magic Kingdom
During A Pirate’s Adventure join Captain Jack Sparrow on an interactive adventure raiding hidden treasures throughout Adventureland. There are five different missions, each taking about 20 minutes to complete. There is no time limit on the missions, so they can be started and stopped at your leisure. This is a lot of fun for the whole family and each adventure sets off some exciting special effects scattered throughout Adventureland; especially great at night.
Believe it or not…sometimes not every table is filled months in advance!
It is no secret that making dining plans for an entire Walt Disney World vacation can be a difficult and time consuming task. This task becomes even harder during the busy holiday seasons when Advance Dining Reservations can completely fill up months ahead of time. While we can not stress enough how important the planning process is for dining, touring, etc. (otherwise what would we be doing running a website like this?) we also must admit that there are times when it is enjoyable, and even a relief, to visit Walt Disney World with no plans and to simply “play it by ear.” So even though we can’t really recommend visiting Walt Disney World at the holidays with no planning, we can tell you that if you decide to go this route, you will not be completely out of luck for eating a quality holiday meal. Here are three suggestions for how you might approach the situation (yes, this is a planning guide for a trip with no planning…sometimes we can’t help ourselves.)
Book A Last Minute ADR
As of the morning before Thanksgiving 2015, a quick MyDisneyExperience search of all restaurants at Walt Disney World for an afternoon reservation on Thanksgiving for a family of four yielded plenty of results including restaurants in all four theme parks, Disney Springs and plenty of resorts throughout property, many of which offer special holiday menus. So even with only one day of planning, it is possible to get an ADR for a holiday meal. It should also be noted that Disney is well aware that the vast majority of its guests on Thanksgiving day will be looking for a meal that at least in some way contains turkey, dressing, etc. and some restaurants that normally wouldn’t serve this kind of cuisine add it to the menu for the holiday including Magic Kingdom’s Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa. Similarly, ham is among the most common standard menu items on buffets and can easily be found on menus throughout property for Christmas and Easter meals. The point being that you may not even need to sacrifice your traditional holiday menu items by booking a last minute ADR at wherever is available.
I know November is behind us, so this may not help for the moment, but I have something to share with those already planning for next year’s vacation to Walt Disney World: November is a great time to visit! I recently returned from a Veterans Day stay at Walt Disney World and discovered that this particular months offers some perks that other times of the year may not. So stay tuned to find out just why you should visit Disney World in November.
Catch Several Special Events at One Time
While the dates for Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival do tend to vary from year to year, the festival usually ends the second week of November. What’s great about this is that the last week or two of the festival overlaps the start of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Rarely can you catch two big Disney World events in one trip. When I visited Walt Disney World in early November, I loved getting to sample the treats and eats at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival during the day and then hopping on the Monorail to head to the Magic Kingdom for the party at night or over to Hollywood Studios for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! (I know, I know… The Osborne Lights is in its last year, but I’m still holding out hope for a new location for this seasonal favorite next year.) The overall point is: guests can experience some of Disney World’s best special events in one week. Now that’s maximizing the Disney magic!
Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel… My fave item at the Food and Wine Festival.
While weather these days rarely seems consistent, and November is the tail end of Hurricane Season, Central Florida does offer more ideal temperatures for Disney World guests during this month than what you experience in the summer. For the first half of November, the average temperatures hover from the mid-eighties during the day to the mid-sixties at night; and for the second half of the month, drop to the mid-seventies during the day and then the sixties to even the fifties at night. Here are the benefits with these averages. If guests visit during the first half of November, they can still enjoy a Disney World water park or their resort pool! It’s the best of summer without the blistering heat and crowds. If you visit during the second half of the month you may still be able to enjoy the resort pools (they are heated), but what they will truly appreciate is the ability to walk through the parks comfortably and without sweating! You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish in the parks when the temperatures are cooler.