Friday Five:  5 ways to have a successful Disney Water Park day!

 

While this time of year doesn’t really spark the water park conversation, the weather in Florida stays warmer longer, so today’s Friday Five is how to have a successful Disney World Water park day. There are lots of little tidbits here and there, and most of them agree on many of the tips below. 

1. Research ahead of time Know the routes you are going to take and the first few slides/rides to do first. At Blizzard Beach, if you dare to do Summit Plummet, you better know to go straight there. Do not pass go, do no collect $200. It’s actually better if someone in your group (like me for my family) doesn’t want to ride. That person can be the designated towel holder, chair grabber for the day and can even grab a locker for your stuff. Another piece of important research is to know what your park tickets offer you. If you are purchasing a 1 day water park ticket, it is now technically a water park hopper ticket so you can visit both water parks in the same day. If you have the water park fun and more tickets with your package, you can use 2 allotments to visit both water parks in the same day. Why is this important? Well, if you are renting a locker, it’s a money saver. Keep your receipt and just pay your refundable deposit (which you will get back at the time you return your key)

2. Bring your own towels & rent a locker Did you know that towels are not free at the water parks? There is a non-refundable deposit required at each of the water parks. If you water park hop, they are also not included in the cost. We take towels from our resort room and bring them with to save the fee. We also bring big beach towels from home and keep them in our car. If you are using Disney transportation, rent a locker and bring a change of clothes before your return back “home” at the end of the day. The worst feeling is leaving the water park wet and cold and then getting a freezing cold bus!

3. Arrive early (or arrive really late) The old Disney adage – arrive early! If you’re ready ANY of my previous posts, it’s the key
to every Disney vacation. This holds true for the waterparks as well. It is very important to be on one of the first buses there and wear your swimsuit there. Don’t waste time changing after arrival. The first 20-30 minutes of the park opening is precious. The earlier you arrive, the closer to the front of the line you will be in. Many of the water park buses share with another resort, so be aware of that as you plan your departure time. If you can’t arrive early, plan on arriving really late – meaning arriving within the last 2 hours the park is open. This is about the time many people are leaving for dinner reservations or evening theme park time (especially when the park closes at 5 or 6 pm). We found the parks fairly empty and enjoyed walking on to almost everything!

4. Important things to purchase prior to your arrival. Sunscreen, water shoes (or decent sandals) and some sort of holder for sunglasses (if you don’t want them lost or broken). You may need to take your shoes or sandals off for some of the rides (especially body slides) but for most slides, you can wear them. It’s a great way to combat the HOT sun on the sidewalks. Disney does have little misters to cool some of the sidewalks but there were lots of people with very hot feet running from one place to the ends. Not for me! I like to saunter 🙂 

5. Use the lazy river as transportation For the ultimate in laziness…if you are going from one side of the water park to the other and not in any hurry, hop in the lazy river! It was our preferred mode of transportation. There are several entry and exit points around both parks, so you might as well enjoy the ride!

Disney water parks are well themed, a fun diversion from the water parks, and an enjoyable way to beat the heat during the warmer months of the year! For those with little ones – a little bonus tip – Typhoon Lagoon felt a little more family friendly than Blizzard Beach. It also always feels a little less crowded when both water parks are in full operation.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015  or 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Friday Five: 5 Disney Restaurants outside the parks that are worth the trip!

Whether you choose a dining plan or not, Disney has so many amazing restaurants both inside and outside the theme parks. Today’s Friday Five focuses on table service restaurants outside the park. These can be visited in conjunction with your theme park time or on an off day. In no particular order…

1. Boma – Animal Kingdom Lodge: Whether you choose breakfast or dinner, you can’t go wrong here. It’s one of the better meals in all of Disney World. For parents with picket eaters, don’t let the menu scare you. There are enough options for picky kids (and picky adults). It’s a great option for those with little ones as well as it’s buffet style. The food is way better than any other buffet I’ve ever eaten in Disney World. Take some time before or after Animal Kingdom. It’s an easy bus ride from Animal Kingdom and buses run very, very frequently!  (Honorable mention: Sanaa at Kidani Village).

2. ‘Ohana – Polynesian: This is an obvious one as one of the most popular restaurants in Disney World. Take a break from your Magic Kingdom day or have a late dinner after a long day in Magic Kingdom. It’s a great early dinner before heading over to Magic Kingdom for Main Street Electrical Parade & Fireworks, too! Try breakfast for a fun character meal before starting your day at the parks!

3. Whispering Canyon Cafe – Wilderness Lodge: Another resort near Magic Kingdom. This will take a bit longer to get to than the resorts along the monorail, but well worth the trip. If you’ve got kids of any age, they’ll enjoy the atmosphere and everyone will enjoy the amazing BBQ. Try the all you care to enjoy skillet and be stuffed to the gills. Make sure everyone knows that WE NEED KETCHUP too!! Take your time with this meal. Grab one of the first seatings at 5 pm or wait until you’re done with Magic Kingdom (on a night you’re willing to skip fireworks).

4. California Grill – Contemporary: Last stop in the Magic Kingdom area – California Grill. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a relaxing evening AND enjoy Magic Kingdom fireworks. This is a more upscale meal (and the price tag shows it). Not as kid friendly (somewhere I’d rather go for a date night than bring my 2 year old). You’ll still see plenty of kids around the restaurant, so don’t feel bad bringing them along. My little one doesn’t sit still ever, so not the place for her. Grab a glass of wine from their extensive menu, enjoy an amazing steak and save room for dessert. Book a table about an hour before fireworks start for the best view in the house (15 stories up). (Honorable mention for another upscale option: Narcoosee’s in Grand Floridian – another great view of fireworks and a high class meal).

5. Beaches & Cream – Beach Club: This location is light-hearted and a great place to enjoy a birthday celebration as they do a great job of embarrassing the one celebrating the birthday (maybe that’s just because I was 30 and not 13!) Perfect meal for a hot day and a quick trip away from both Epcot & Hollywood Studios. Make a reservation for lunch or just for their signature ice cream dishes.

Come back next week for more Friday Five fun!!