Friday Five: 5 things for toddlers to do in Animal Kingdom

 

5 things for toddlers to do in Animal Kingdom

It’s part 4 of a Friday five SERIES! Today we’re going to talk about 5 things you can do with your toddler in Animal Kingdom. This is a great part for younger children for a few reasons – there are a lot of diversions to capture kids attention and a lot of places to explore! As it relates to true “rides” it’s not a huge draw, but there are so many good things to enjoy! It also offers places for rest and seated activities as well as some fun active things to wear your toddlers out!

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris. What’s not to love? Adults will love the ability to be transported to a mini African Safari and the kids can come with! The kids will be captivated by all of the amazing animals and how close they will be to some of their favorites – giraffes, elephants, zebra and more! It’s a 20+ minute oasis that makes you feel like you are away from all things Disney and it’s just pure FUN!
  2. Maharajah Jungle Trek & Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. These are technically 2 separate attractions but they are similar in nature! Both allow open space for your kids to roam and take things at their own pace in a controlled environment (it’s often uncrowded during the morning hours when people flock to the major attractions). It’s a great way to view animals and let your toddler LEAD the expedition!
  3. The Boneyard. This is a really fun play area. There’s an open air dig site as well as places to explore. There is some playground equipment – slide, swing, climb) and sandpits where your mini me can find bones and fossils (this mama doesn’t love the stand, but it’s a great way to burn off steam)!
  4. Finding Nemo the Musical. This is one of two great shows in Animal Kingdom! It’s a great mid-day break or rest time for toddler (or even adults). This adaptation of the film is set to music and the story is brought to life before your eyes! It’s on my must do list for kids of ANY age to really experience as Disney makes this over the top in fun!
  5. Characters! (sensing a theme of all of these toddler posts? It’s no secret that my family is all about the character meet and greets. A favorite in this park is with Pluto and Goofy (our family’s favorite pooches) in DinoLand USA. One of my favorite memories comes from this area of the park so it holds a special place in my heart but both characters (especially Goofy) gives some amazing interaction no matter when you go! If you’d like to see Mickey & Minnie on Safari, check out Adventures Outpost (FastPass+-able attraction). There are unique characters here as well – Baloo & King Louie, Pocahontas, Russell and Dug to name a few!

Honorable mention in a few categories:

  • Character meet and greet – Lots of great hellos available tucked away into little corners of the theme parks to get people away from the main loop around the resort – take the time, they are worth it!
  • Attractions – Festival of the Lion King. If your kiddos will sit for 2 shows, this is a fantastic one – it’s got the feel of a Broadway show and is eye and ear catching. Trica Tops Spin – this Dumbo-esque ride with Dinos is a great little diversion while the big kids perhaps do something like Dinosaur or Expedition Everest
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)

As the mom of a toddler who has enjoyed more than one Disney World vacation with her, I consider myself an expect on traveling with toddlers! Interested in experiencing your own Disney World vacation in 2016?  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 things for toddlers to do in Hollywood Studios

 

It’s part 3 of a Friday five SERIES! Today we’re going to talk about 5 things you can do with your toddler in Hollywood Studios. This is a great part for younger children for a few reasons – first it’s the smallest park (pending the expansion of 2 new lands – Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land). It will become a major park destination once everything is up and operational. For now, it’s a very easily manageable area. It also offers places for rest and seated activities as well as some fun active things to wear your toddlers out!

  1. Disney Junior! The ONLY place you can find Disney Junior fun – dining, meet and greet, and a live show is in Hollywood Studios so if you have a lover of Doc, Jake, Sofia, Handy Manny, and more, this is the place for you! At Hollywood & Vine, your toddlers can dine with their favorite friends and then head over for more fun at a Disney Jr Live show centered around Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with help from their other Disney Jr friends. Very cute show and short enough that it keeps toddlers interest!
  2. Frozen Sing-Along. I know mom and dad, I’m done with Frozen too – like put it on ice done, but this is a reallyfrozensingalong well loved experience even by me – someone who as seen the movie more time than I’d like. This live show puts kids right in the action of their favorite movie as the historians of Arendelle give you a condensed version of the story of Frozen (with a little humor adults can appreciate). Amidst this storytelling, kids can sing along with their favorite Disney songs at at the end, Anna & Elsa come out with a flurry of snowflakes to sing Let it Go with everyone. My daughter who was just over 2 at the time we tried it, absolutely loved it and SAT STILL! This is a feat for anyone that knows us – she’s a very go, go, go type of girl so sitting in one place and paying attention to something was a huge deal!
  3. Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set. While kids may not know the movie, this larger than life play area is a great place to climb around and burn off some energy and gives adults a chance to reminisce from movies from their childhood! This location rarely ever has a line and it’s a nice diversion for adults looking for a thrill ride or two during the day. Only a small number of kids are allowed in at one time, so mid-day you may see a short 5 minute wait, but it’s a safety thing. A little hint – take a photo of your child before they head in so you can show it a cast member if you need them to get out to catch a dining reservation or FastPass!
  4. Characters! This park has a few unique meet and greets – Mike & Sulley from Monsters Inc, Mater & McQueen
    One of my favorite photos from our April trip!

    One of my favorite photos from our April trip!

    from Cars, and Phinneas & Ferb (and a little nod to Buzz & Woody who are available via meet and greet ON Woody’s bed). None of these have a FastPass and most likes are done in less than 10 minutes but all well loved movies in the toddler age range. The Monsters and Cars characters cannot give autographs, but it’s still a fun experience for your kids to say a huge hello to their larger than life friends!

  5. The Attractions…Toy Story Midway Mania! So it’s not a huge list of attractions here – this is not a park really meant for rides at this point (again this will change as the park expands in the next several years) but Toy Story Mania is an amazing attraction. It’s well done family fun allowing you and your kids to become the size of a Toy and enjoy the games Andy has created for you as you shoot targets to earn points. Be aware that this ride does spin a bit (nothing like Teacups) but the less adventurous toddler may not be thrilled by it but most LOVE it!

Honorable mention in a few categories:

  • Character meet and greet – Lots of great hellos available at the end of Hollywood Blvd.
  • Attractions – Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage (a Broadway caliber condensed version of the movie)
  • Energy busters – Club Disney – dance with your favorite Disney pals (it’s a NEW experience for winter 2015!)
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)

As the mom of a toddler who has enjoyed more than one Disney World vacation with her, I consider myself an expect on traveling with toddlers! Interested in experiencing your own Disney World vacation in 2016?  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 things to do with your toddler in Epcot

Epcot ball

It’s part 2 of a Friday five SERIES! Today we’re going to talk about 5 things you can do with your toddler in Epcot. Many adults typically think of Epcot as an adult geared all toward adults, but there are plenty of fun things for kids of all ages to explore (and again it’s behind just character meet and greets!

1. Epcot Character Spot (and the Disney Visa Card Meet and Greet). These two experiences offer your little ones a great opportunity to meet some of the classics. At Epcot character spot, you can say hello to Mickey, Minnie, and Ellie minnieGoofy in their traditional attire (something that’s less and less common). The Disney Visa card meet and greet varies by character but the last several times we’ve visited it’s been Minnie and Pluto. In a close second is the meet and greet of Pooh and friends in England/United Kingdom.

2. The after market shop – near Test Track This is a great little diversion for adults that want to ride test track (or those with older kids who want to ride). If you go in the after market shop near the exit of Test Track and following it back toward where riders come out, you’ll find a great toddler “playground”! The kids can climb in cars, “test drive” virtual cars and more. It’s a nice little air conditioned place to wait without going into a shop!

3. The Living Seas building I’ll talk more about the details of the attractions in this building later. Take time to enjoy the aquarium life as well as take some photos and let kids run around in a safe environment here! There are tons of fish and aquatic life to explore. My daughter (who is an animal lover) could spend hours in here and be happy as a clam! There are also plentiful washrooms in this area for diaper changes or potty breaks!

4. Innoventions buildings Another great indoor location for kids to play. There are some fun tactile (immediate response to an action) type of experience without much needed adult interaction. They obviously won’t get as much out of some of the experiences as their older siblings or friends would, but it’s another great little diversion! If you want to be out in the heat, head a bit toward World Showcase and find the jumping fountains (you’ll see them on your right side before entering World Showcase (typically you’ll hear the screams of young children before you’ll see the water!) Just like it’s counterparts in other parks, bring a change of clothes!

5. The attractions…Seas with Nemo & Friends and Turtle Talk with Crush. Epcot runs a bit short on
attractions for guests of all ages when comparing it to Magic Kingdom, but these two based on Finding Nemo, it’s a great way for kids to interact with their favorite Disney Pixar characters and see them live in action! A little warning for little ones that are scared of Bruce the shark – you’ll see him for a little bit in the Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction but it’s not in an intense way. Turtle Talk is a really fun interactive experience to talk with Dude Crush the sea turtle!!

Honorable mention in a few categories:

  • Character meet and greet – Princesses around World Showcase
  • Attractions – Journey into Imagination with Figment (be aware there’s a bit of a surprise with a loud noise toward the end, but it’s a cute attraction!) and the upcoming Pixar shorts.
  • Energy busters – Exploring each country in World Showcase (banging the drums, KidCot activities, going up and down stairs, etc), Cool Wash near Test Track (kids will get WET again!)
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)

As the mom of a toddler who has enjoyed more than one Disney World vacation with her, I consider myself an expect on traveling with toddlers! Interested in experiencing your own Disney World vacation in 2016?  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 things to do with Toddlers in Magic Kingdom

It’s a Friday Five SERIES! Today we’re going to talk about 5 things you can do with your toddler in Magic Kingdom. This park offer so much for kids of any age, but there are things that toddlers can specifically appreciate more than the big kids and it’s not just character meet and greets!

  1. Tom Sawyer’s Island. Located in Frontierland, this little kids oasis allows them to explore! There are walking trails, caves, and a working water wheel. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of the theme park. For kids that need a break from the “in your face” Disney action, it’s a great way to unwind and there are benches and large rocks for the adults to sit on to take a rest while the kids burn off a little extra steam!IMG_4357
  2. At least one parade. Parades give you a chance to sit and relax. With your stroller, your toddler may even get a little snooze in the process (especially the afternoon Festival of Fantasy parade). Parades allow your child to see most if not all of their favorite Disney characters who are waving, dancing, and excited to see everyone in the crowd! I never expected my toddler to enjoy the parade as much as she did at the ripe old age of 2 but one of my favorite Disney memories with her is watching her wave to all of the characters (even the ones she didn’t know) during Main Street Electrical parade. It was one of those little magical moments that was completely unexpected (it’s my favorite parade so it’s something I’m SO happy to share with her again and again!)
  3. Town Square Mickey. I can’t complete this list without one character meet and greet, now could I? Town Square Mickey is a little more magical to all of the other meet and greets and I think a little less “scary” for little kids if you’re unsure how they are going to react to characters for the first time. Mickey Mouse greets each and every friend with a happy hello and can actually have a conversation. It’s the voice your kids would expect out of Mickey Mouse as well! Again, a family favorite in my house – we said hello at least 5 times in our last stay (it’s probably more!)
  4. it’s a small world. The earworm song that gets in every adults head and drives them crazy. Town Square MickeyWhile I’m not a huge fan of this ride (it’s one we often skip without kids in tow), there is something truly magical about this attraction! Whether it’s the dolls, the songs, or the ambiance you’ll find your kids glued and well behaved for 12-15 minutes of time. The other great thing is that this line isn’t often long, so you can ride again and again and again until your mind is numb!
  5. Walt Disney World Railroad. All aboard! Hop to railroad to for a “scenic trip around the Magic Kingdom”. It’s a fun ride on the “choo choo”. It’s a relaxing ride. Not a lot of true excitement (the Disneyland version is a bit better in my opinion). It’s a great opportunity to take a break during the middle of the day if you need some rest time or a short nap without leading the park.

Honorable mention in a few categories:

  • Character meet and greet – Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Attractions – Dumbo, Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (some kids don’t like the dark ride), Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Energy busters – Casey Jr. Splash and Soak, Laughin’ Place Playground
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)

As the mom of a toddler who has enjoyed more than one Disney World vacation with her, I consider myself an expect on traveling with toddlers! Interested in experiencing your own Disney World vacation in 2016?  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!