Mickey and Mommy

Reviews & tips for traveling to Walt Disney World with young kids

Category: Top Tips (page 1 of 2)

Parents Guide to Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is a fully immersive experience and fun for the whole family.

As you set out to explore this new land, here’s everything you need to know, from kid-focused ride, food and shopping reviews to where to find changing tables, stroller parking and interactive activities.

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Windtraders at Pandora – The World of Avatar

Windtraders is the main gift shop in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Instead of Mickey Mouse merchandise, here you will find some special items unique to Pandora, including the very popular banshee.

Banshee – Windtraders – Pandora – The World of Avatar

The interactive, robotic banshees are able to move their mouths, heads and wings, as well as make banshee sounds.  They can sit on your shoulder, be cradled in your arms, or be displayed on separately purchased perch. Continue reading

Star Wars Experiences for Younger Kids at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

 

Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Have a young padawan and visiting Walt Disney World? While some Star Wars experiences are geared toward older kids and adults, like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (40″ height requirement) or meeting Kylo Ren (don’t expect hugs), there are still plenty of fun ways for younger kids to experience the force.

Here are the top four Star Wars experiences for younger kids at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Character Interactions

Meeting Chewbacca at the Star Wars Launch Bay

Chewbacca and BB-8 both have character meets inside the Star Wars Launch Bay that are open continuously throughout the day. There are separate lines for each, and FastPass+ is not available.

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Tips for celebrating birthdays at Walt Disney World

Birthday breakfast at Tusker House

We recently returned from a wonderful trip celebrating our son’s third birthday at Walt Disney World, which was filled with pixie dust (some provided by us parents and some by Disney).

Here are some ways you can make celebrating birthdays at Walt Disney World even more special:

Get a birthday button.

Pick up a free birthday button from any Walt Disney World Resort hotel, guest services, or even at many of the park stores. Just ask!

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Five tips for taking kids to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is my family’s favorite time to visit Epcot. With the festival running through May 29, 2017, there’s still plenty of time to go.

Here are my top five tips for taking kids to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival:

1) Get a Garden Passport for everyone – including little kids!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Garden Passport

You can find the free Garden Passports in the park map stands when you first enter Epcot. These are great because they list all of the food available at the festival’s outdoor kitchens, as well as additional festival information.

But why get one for little kids? One word: Stickers! Each passport contains two dozen stickers. The stickers are meant to be used to self-mark the outdoor kitchens you visit. However, they can also be a fun game to help pass time in lines – find the matching spots for the stickers in the passport. (Or, you know, just let your kids go crazy decorating their passport with the stickers.) Continue reading

Review: Cars 3 “Road to the Races” tour

When we heard that Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 “Road to the Races” tour was kicking off at Disney Springs this past weekend, we decided to make a quick weekend trip to the Walt Disney World Resort.

Our son is McQueen’s #1 fan (after Mater, of course), so we knew this event would be a hit with him. Because, you know, we’ve only watched Cars at least once a week for the past two years…

The best part of this event is that you get to see a life-size Lightning McQueen, as well as two new Cars 3 characters: Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm.

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Strollers at Walt Disney World

 

Here are some important things to know about taking a stroller to Walt Disney World.

In the Parks

  • Strollers are not allowed in any of the attraction lines (or inside the Land pavilion at Epcot).  Instead, you must park your stroller in a designated “Stroller Parking” area.  These are conveniently located throughout the parks and easy to find (just look for the sea of strollers), but if you can’t find one, a cast member will be happy to point you in the right direction.
  • Your stroller will probably be moved – but it’s okay! Cast members are constantly moving strollers around within the same stroller parking area to keep everything in order.
    • Tip: Tie something bright on your stroller to make it easier to find (a ribbon, sign, etc.).

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Ice Cream at Walt Disney World

Any vacation – and especially a Walt Disney World vacation – isn’t complete without some delicious ice cream! Here are just a few of our family’s favorite frozen treats, as well as our top spots to get them:

Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar

A trip to Walt Disney World is not complete without a Mickey bar, which you can find at any of the ice cream kiosks throughout the parks.  These are vanilla ice cream with a chocolate shell on a popsicle stick.

Tip: If you are in the Magic Kingdom, grab a Mickey bar right before finding a spot for the 3 p.m. Festival of Fantasy Parade.  It gives kids (and you) something to do to help pass the time while waiting.

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Walt Disney World Rider Swap Explained

Walt Disney World offers an incredible number of rides and attractions for kids of any height (including infants), but there are still a handful of rides in each of the four theme parks with height restrictions.

If you are traveling with small children, you might automatically rule those rides out – but you don’t need to because Walt Disney World offers a great solution called rider swap or child swap.

So what is rider swap, and how does it work?

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Beat the Heat at Walt Disney World

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With summer officially upon us, the next few months are the hottest time of the year to visit Walt Disney World.  With schools out for the summer, it’s also one of the busiest times – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have an incredible trip with some simple planning.

Here are a few tips so you don’t “sweat” the high temperatures.

Stay hydrated.  This may be a given, but did you know:

  • Counter Service restaurants offer FREE ICE WATER.  Yep!  All you have to do is go up to the counter and ask, and they will give you a small free cup of ice water.  It’s tap water, but my family thinks their tap water tastes better than the bottled Dasani water (which costs $3 a bottle).
    • Tip: If you are ordering a meal at a counter service restaurant, order ice waters for everyone in your party, even if you are getting other drinks.  Everyone gets to hydrate, and it’s much easier carrying them on a tray with everything else.
  • You can bring your own water into the parks.  Whether it’s your own bottled water or a filled water bottle, you are allowed to bring it into all Disney parks.  Actually, you can bring in any drinks (except alcohol) and food, but you can’t have glass containers, coolers larger than 24″ x 15″ x 18″, or, only in Animal Kingdom, plastic straws (so don’t bring juice boxes on your Animal Kingdom day!).
    • Tip:  If you are bringing a stroller into the park, put your water bottles into any stroller pockets or at the bottom of your stroller to lighten your load.
  • Epcot has FREE soda.  Club Cool, located in Future World to the right of the main fountain, features eight Coca-Cola beverages from around the world.  There are several beverage dispensers (all the same) and small sample-size paper cups to try as many – and as much – as you want.
    • Tip: While my toddler isn’t allowed to drink soda at home, we do let him have a tiny bit of VegitaBeta, which is described as a “non-carbonated beverage with apricot and passion fruit flavors and is rich in beta-carotene.”  It’s probably the “healthiest” and least sugar coma-inducing option there, with the exception of the Beverly (if an adult in your group has been getting on your nerves, encourage them to try the Beverly…).

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