Mickey and Mommy

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

Tag: ADR

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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Food Review: Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ restaurant is located in the newer Town Center section of Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs. It features Florida-inspired comfort food and moonshine craft cocktails.

The Food

We started our lunch with a Bunch of Puppies – a basket of golden hush puppies served with pimento cheese and red jalapeño jelly. Now I’ve never met a hush puppy I didn’t like, and these did not disappoint. I was sure they would be my favorite part of lunch, but everything else blew them away.

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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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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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Disney Dining: ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) Explained

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ADR stands for “Advanced Dining Reservation,” and here is everything you need to know about them.

Walt Disney World offers two main types of restaurants: Quick service and table service. Quick service is either counter service or cafeteria style. You do not need ADRs for quick service restaurants. At table service restaurants, your food is either brought to your table by wait staff or served buffet style.

Although Disney states that “Advanced reservations are highly recommended” for table service restaurants, you REALLY do need an ADR.

Although walk ups are occasionally seated, your chances are slim. Many table service restaurants flat out won’t be able to take walk ups, or you may end up having to wait a while. With an infant or toddler, why chance it? Do you really want to spend your vacation trekking back and forth across a theme park trying to find some place for your hungry child to eat? Make your ADRs ahead of time.

Here is some important information about ADRs:

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