Since Tangierine Cafe in Epcot’s Morocco pavilion in the World Showcase has long been a family favorite counter service stop, I have been wanting to try the country’s table service restaurant, Restaurant Marrakesh, for some time.
Tucked at the very back of the pavilion, Restaurant Marrakesh seems to be one of the most overlooked restaurants at Epcot, but I think it’s also one of the best. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s out of sight or because the food may seem too “exotic” (it’s not!), but it truly is a hidden gem.
Pregnant at Walt Disney World
Sometimes you feel like you are missing out on parts of your vacation when you are pregnant, but that’s not the case at Walt Disney World. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your vacation when visiting Walt Disney World while pregnant.
Enjoy the rides
Unlike many other theme parks, you can still enjoy the majority of rides while pregnant at Walt Disney World. Still, there are some you should avoid.
Need a break without missing the magic of Disney? Want to rest your feet and get out of the heat? Here is a list of Walt Disney World indoor shows, complete with air conditioning and seating (unless otherwise noted).
- Carousel of Progress (Tomorrowland)
- Country Bear Jamboree (Frontierland)
- Enchanted Tales with Belle (Fantasyland) – FP+ available; standing at the beginning of the attraction
- Enchanted Tiki Room (Adventureland)
- Hall of Presidents (Liberty Square)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic (Fantasyland) – FP+ available
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (Tomorrowland) – FP+ available
While there are still tons of rides and attractions you can enjoy, here are some Walt Disney World rides to avoid when pregnant.
According to Walt Disney World, expectant mothers should not ride the following:
- The Barnstormer
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
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
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.
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?
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 to keep cool at Walt Disney World and not “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…).
If someone told you that there is nothing for younger kids to do in Epcot’s World Showcase, then they probably haven’t been on the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros (Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito).
Based on the animated 1944 Disney film The Three Caballeros, this slow-moving boat ride is located in the back corner of Epcot’s Mexico pavilion (open during regular World Showcase hours). The Three Caballeros have a musical performance scheduled, but Donald Duck is missing. Throughout the boat ride, you see Donald Duck enjoying some of Mexico’s most famous sites, with Jose Carioca and Panchito searching for him a few steps behind.
A first visit to Walt Disney World is special enough, but there are also a number of other “firsts” your child (or even you!) can experience to make even more magical memories.
(Tip: On a first visit, be sure to get a free “1st Visit!” Disney pin to wear. You can pick one up from Guest Services, the front desk of Disney hotels, and often from the check-out counters of Disney stores in the parks or Disney Springs.)
Uniquely Disney “Firsts”:
- Disney Park – Tater’s first park (and the first park that many visit) was the Magic Kingdom. Nothing says “Welcome to Disney” like walking down Main Street and getting your first glimpse of the Cinderella Castle.
- Disney Ride – We chose Dumbo as Tater’s first ride, as it was one of my favorites as a child. Sure enough, he’s been on it half a dozen times now, and it remains a must-do any time we visit the Magic Kingdom.